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Florida Department of Health: Withlacoochee River may be contaminated with bacteria

Sewage (generic)
Posted at 3:38 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 15:47:20-04

MADISON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) - The Florida Department of Health in Madison and Hamilton counties have issued a joint health advisory to residents and visitors near the Withlacoochee River in North Florida.

Officials said the river may have been contaminated with bacteria.

Until they get more information, people in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River. The Florida Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are now conducting water sampling.

Water contaminated with fecal bacteria can pose a health risk. The microbes found in the bacteria can calls gastrointestinal illnesses in humans as well as other conditions.

Anyone who comes in contact with the river should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking. Children, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems should take extra caution.

If you have questions or need more information, contact DOH-Madison at 850-973-5000 or visit madison.floridahealth.gov and DOH-Hamilton at 386-758-1059 or hamilton.floridahealth.gov.