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FDOH: Withlacoochee River may be contaminated with fecal matter

Posted: 4:52 PM, Feb 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 16:52:13-05
Bacteria

JASPER, Fla. (WTXL) — If you live near the Withlacoochee River in North Florida, you might want to stay out of the water.

The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton and Madison counties issued a joint health advisory to people near the Withlacoochee River in North Florida on Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are conducting water sampling. Until they learn more information about it, people are urged to take precautions if you come in contact with the river.

Water contaminated with elevated fecal bacteria pose health risks and could cause gastrointestinal issues or other conditions.

Anyone who touches the water should wash thoroughly, especially before eating and drinking. Children, older adults, and people with weak immune systems are particularly vulnerable to disease.

For more information about potential health effects of wastewater overflow, contact the DOH for Hamilton County at 386-758-1059 and the DOH for Madison County at 850-973-5000.