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New study finds E. coli bacteria on some beaches of Lake Superi

Sunday, July 13, 2003

ASHLAND, Wis. -- Unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria have been found on 14 beaches of Lake Superior, state officials have said.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the unsafe levels were measured this spring and summer at beaches in four counties. One beach remains closed to swimming.

There have been no cases of illness reported in connection with the beaches, and DNR beach program coordinator Ben Vail said the findings by themselves should not cause alarm.

The variety of E. coli bacteria found is unlikely to cause illness, but at high levels, it is an indicator that more pathogenic bacteria might be present. Those levels in water could cause illnesses such as diarrhea and fever.

Vail said the beaches will be tested all summer.

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