The lake at Cowans Gap State Park has been closed to all activities in response to the recently reported cases of E. coli infections.
“This decision was made after six positive cases and three additional probable cases of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were identified in persons who reported swimming in the lake during late July,” according to an e-mail this evening from Terry Brady, a representative of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The lake will be closed for recreational use until further notice, while the park will remain open for camping and other activities. Brady wrote that the investigation has shown no connection between the bacterial infections and the park’s potable water.
He wrote that the decision , made by DCNR and the State Department of Health, was based on interviews that showed “swimming in the lake prior to becoming ill was a common factor between all the ill individuals.”
The people who reportedly got sick range in age from two to 49 years, and all are from south central Pennsylvania, with the exception of one individual from Maryland, Brady wrote. Their exposures to the lake occurred between July 12 and July 31.