Possible contamination of the Withlacoochee River - Health advisory for Madison and Hamilton Counties

Jasper, Fla., – The Florida Department of Health in Hamilton and Madison Counties today issued a joint health advisory to residents and visitors near the Withlacoochee River in North Florida.

Until further information is known regarding possible contamination of the river, people in the area are urged to take precautions when in contact with the Withlacoochee River.

Water contaminated with elevated fecal bacteria presents several health risks to humans. Microbes normally found with fecal bacteria could cause gastrointestinal illness and other health conditions.

Anyone who comes into contact with the river water should wash thoroughly, especially before eating or drinking. Children and older adults, as well as people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to disease so every precaution should be taken if in contact with the river water.

For more information about the potential health effects of wastewater overflow, Floridians are encouraged to contact DOH-Hamilton at 386-792-1414 or hamilton.floridahealth.gov and DOH-Madison at 850-973-5000 or visit madison.floridahealth.gov.