Australian kids struck down with infection after playing in lake

18:44, January 13, 2010      

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Australian children cooling off in the shallow water of the Coorong south of Adelaide are being struck down with infection, a local doctor says on Wednesday.

Dr Michael Kerrigan from the Coorong Medical Center said there had been a spate of eye and ear infections as well as gastroenteritis since November.

Normally the medical practice would see one or two children a week over the summer holidays, but now it's seeing one or two children every day.

Kerrigan says "the lake level is so low there's a lack of freshwater that causes problems with increased bacterial counts in the water," Dr Kerrigan told the Australian Associated Press.

"Like anything, stagnant water is bad, and fresh flowing water is good. Lake Albert's essentially a stagnant pond."

The only fresh water the 35 square kilometer lake gets is from the rain, or fresh water being pumped into it. Dr Kerrigan recommends parents wash children's hands and faces when they come out of the water and use ear drops to dry ear canals.

Source: Xinhua
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