Swim At These Iowa Beaches & You Could Get Brain-Eating Disease
We've already heard the sad news about the man who died after swimming in the Lake of Three Fires in Taylor County, Iowa. At some point, he either swallowed or got some water up his nose that was infected with the primary amoebic meningoencephalitis or PAM amoeba.
This deadly organism quickly goes to work eating the brain, shutting down body systems, and killing its host. It is rare, but out of 154 documented cases, only 4 people have survived. Many deal with lifelong effects.
Now it is being reported that 11 additional Iowa beaches should be avoided for the presence of E.coli.
In case you're wondering, E.coli is a bacteria that -
normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most types of E.coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few strains, can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
It can also lead to a rare but deadly illness where the kidneys and other bodily systems shut down.
So before you get your flippers out and head to your favorite Iowa beach, check out the Iowa DNR interactive map, where you'll see this information about the 11 (and now 12) beaches to currently avoid.
- Denison Beach in Black Hawk State Park - E.coli is the pathogen found in most of these vulnerable lakes.
- Emerson Bay Beach - Emerson Bay State Recreation Area - E.coli found,
- Prairie Rose Beach - Prairie Rose State Park - E.coli.
- Beed's Lake Beach - Beed's Lake State Park - E.coli.
- Big Creek Beach - Big Creek State Park - E.coli.
- Green Valley Beach - Green Valley State Park - E.coli
- Backbone Beach - Backbone Beach State Park - E.coli
- Lake Darling Beach - Lake Darling State Park - E.coli (This lake's water sample was very high in E.coli)
- Geode Lake Beach - Geode State Park - E.coli
- George Wyth Beach - George Wyth Memorial State Park - E.coli (Extremely high E.coli numbers here)
- Pine Lake South Beach - Pine Lake State Park - E.coli
Sources: Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mayo Clinic, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).