Swimming, playing, or recreating in contaminated water may result
in minor illnesses such as sore throats, vomiting, fever, headache,
sinus infections, stomach-ache and other flu-like symptoms. Other
illnesses can include skin, ear, respiratory, eye, and wound infections,
or more serious illnesses. Children, elderly, and people with weakened
immune systems have a greater chance of getting sick when they come
in contact with contaminated water.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), during the 2003 beach monitoring season there were no reported water contact related health problems. That does not mean there were no illnesses. People reporting similar symptoms are often assumed to have food-borne illnesses and are investigated accordingly. MDH requests people who experience illness following water contact to report their condition to the county health department. County staff are required to report such illnesses to MDH for further investigation. Timely reports may also prevent others from becoming ill from the same contaminated site.