Be aware of lake risks while enjoying summer swimming

Don’t drink the water, Snohomish Health District advises
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Swimming or playing in water that is contaminated or high in bacteria or natural toxins can affect your health. Swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers, or oceans are all potential sources of water-related illness. Recreational water illnesses typically affect a person’s stomach and intestines, causing diarrhea and vomiting. Water quality can also affect your skin or respiratory system.
The recent outbreak of illness at Horseshoe Lake in Kitsap County was caused by norovirus found in the water at the swimming beach. The lake is closed until testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm that the virus is no longer present.
While Snohomish Health District has investigated a handful of illness reports related to local lakes, no common cause or illness has been identified. “We’ve seen nothing to indicate an outbreak of water-related illness here,” said Health Officer Dr. Gary Goldbaum.
The Health District is working with the Snohomish County Parks Department and city beach programs to ensure that required public health warnings (PDF) are present at beaches, including this language:
“The swimming waters at this beach are not treated to control spread of disease. Swimming
beach water, if swallowed, can sometimes cause illness because of bacteria, viruses or parasites in the water. All beach users should follow bathing beach recommendations to prevent
contamination of the water and should avoid swallowing of any beach water.”
Recreational water illnesses such as norovirus, cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, and E. colihave the potential to infect a person who accidentally swallows or has contact with contaminated water. In most instances, the symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting will improve one to two days after you get sick. Some people get dehydrated or have other side effects, and need to see a doctor.
“Lake water is not the same as drinking water,” Dr. Goldbaum reminds children and parents.
If you think you got sick from a public water or food source – such as a swimming beach, campground, or restaurant – contact the Snohomish Health District at 425.339.5278.
We will ask you questions about what you ate and where you’ve been over the past several days to try to narrow down the many possible causes of illness.
For more tips on keeping safe while swimming, see the Hot Topic page of our website.

23 Ways to Improve Your BBQ




May 22, 2014 | By Pamela Nisevich Bede, M.S., R.D.

Sure, your backyard barbeque is meant to be a party, but that’s no excuse to offer foods that will ensure you’ll avoid stepping onto the beach — and the scale. In fact, every BBQ has room for a few entrees and sides that keep your health-conscious guests happy, and your body looking and feeling good. Try the following tips and you are sure to wow your guests and keep them asking for more — without them ever knowing they were “indulging” in healthier options.

See all 23 tips here, at

Long, Warm Summer On Tap According To Weather Service Outlook

By Tom Banse, NW News Network

The supercomputers at the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center have crunched long-term trends to produce an outlook for June, July and August. For most of the Northwest, the forecast gives a strong probability of above-normal temperatures.

National Weather Service is forecasting a strong probability of above-normal temperatures in June, July and August for most of the Northwest.
Credit National Weather Service


Seattle-based meteorologist Johnny Burg said the trend is strongest along the West Coast and becomes less pronounced as you go inland to Idaho.

“Usually our summers here are pretty warm and dry compared to the weather patterns throughout the year,” Burg said. “But what the CPC is saying is that we are looking at maybe having warmer than normal temperatures for this summer.”

The summer outlook for rainfall is neutral for the Pacific Northwest, but calls for above average rainfall chances in the central Rockies. There’s no drought relief in sight for parched rangelands in southern Oregon and southwest Idaho.

The Climate Prediction Center notes a transition to El Niño conditions is underway in the tropical Pacific, but that global weather phenomenon is not driving the forecast for a warmer than normal summer in the Northwest. Burg said that there is usually a lag before El Niño’s effects can be seen in the region’s local weather.