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Health officials urge people to avoid Lander river

Jul 13, 2013 - Staff

Unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria have been found in the waters of the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River in and around Lander, and the Fremont County Health Department is urging people to stay out of the water.

The Middle Fork is the river that runs from Sinks Canyon through Lander.

Routine testing of the water is conducted, and the most-recent samples showed unsafe levels of E. coli. The risk is highest in the summer, and the Middle Fork has experienced E. coli contamination before during warm weather.

The Popo Agie Conservation District, which does the testing, detected E. coli at about twice the normal concentration.

Ingesting the e-coli bacteria can sicken humans, who can get the bacteria on their hands and into their mouths when swimming. It also spreads easily to others.

The most common symptoms of infection are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps, although it can be life threatening in its most serious form.

Health officials have posted signs warning of the potential risk at various points along the Middle Fork.

For more information, contact the Popo Agie Conservation District at 332-3114.

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