Cowans Gap State Park closed to swimmers due to health concerns

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FULTON COUNTY, Pa. — The beach at Cowans Gap State Park has been closed to swimming after more than two dozen people reported contracting stomach illnesses after swimming in the lake.

It’s suspected that the people who became sick contracted norovirus, according to the Pa. departments of Health and Conservation and Natural Resources.

State officials say the illnesses occurred in people who swam in the lake between July 18 and July 19.

The lake was closed in August 2011 after several people became ill after swimming in the lake.

Health officials say the beach is being closed as a precautionary measure. DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said the lake’s water has been tested twice a week since swimming began this summer. The lake was closed for three days earlier this month after high E. coli counts were found.

Norovirus is contagious and is passed from an infected person, through contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces, health officials noted. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

(Image credit: Pa. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

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