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Officials: Oklahoma lakes could make you sick

Low lake levels - Phil Roder

Low lake levels - Phil Roder

OKLAHOMA CITY – As families get ready for the holiday weekend, many Oklahomans will be enjoying their days off at a local lake.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is reminding residents to be cautious on the water.

Certain bacteria and viruses can be found in untreated bodies of water.

Officials say some of the microorganisms occur naturally while others come from different sources.

The bacteria can cause mild problems like ear infections, swimmer’s itch, gastrointestinal upset, eye infections and even some forms of meningitis.

DEQ recommends the following precautions:

  • Hold nose or wear nose plugs when jumping into the water
  • Wash open skin cuts and scrapes with clean soap and water immediately after swimming
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming
  • Wear ear plugs to prevent ear infections
  • Wear swim goggles or masks to prevent eye infections
  • Avoid swimming near storm drains
  • Take children to the restroom frequently and use swim diapers on infants
  • Stay away from any area that has floating debris, stagnant water, oil sheens or dead fish.