Is the lake making me sick?

I took a rescue class on 8/20 in Falls Lake. Ever since I’ve been really sore in my neck and shoulders. I’ve attributed it to trying to get my fat arse back on the deck and into the boat.

For the last few days, I’ve had flu-like symptoms to go along with the stiff neck and soreness. Not been bad enough to miss work but I’ve been extremely tired and kinda “foggy” no matter how much I sleep.

Any ideas? I’m not much for going to the doctor.


how are you
uh… bowels…


– Last Updated: Aug-26-05 3:36 PM EST –

I had a little discomfort and cramping a few days ago but since then no problems in that department. Just still really sore and tired. Had planned to go practice my newly learned skills this weekend but now I'm not too sure.

Found an article on WRAL.COM about a kid who died after swimming in Falls Lake in 2003. He contracted Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). I don't think i have anything like that but what can be done to keep from getting anything from dirty water?


lyme disease
Get checked for Lymes Disease. If you catch it early, it’s simple to treat, but if you don’t, it’s a nightmare to get rid of. Stiff neck, sore joints, flu symptoms are all classic signs, and deer ticks are so tiny that people often have no idea they got bit.

Differential diagnosis…
Definately consult a doctor regarding your symptoms.

I’ve had patients with heart related trouble also express a similar batch of complaints. Get in to the doc for further assessment.

Go to a doctor
I got viral menengitis/encephalitis when I was 20 and young and healthy. It started with similar syptoms. I was very sick for almost 6 months.I got the disease probably from mosquitos, this was not in the US but we have lots of viral diseases, you don’t want to mess around with the symptoms you have.

Be sure to check out …
… this recent discussion on the topic of dirty water:

Although exceedingly rare, in the past two years here in Wisconsin, one young adult male and two dogs have experienced seizures and eventual death after swimming in local lakes and ponds containing blue-green algae (cyanobacteria):

Also a recent case in Kansas?

West Nile Encephalitis

doubt it’s this but…

The symptoms of neck stiffness and feeling foggy are something to get checked out.

How about a giardia infection? Did
you take in any of the water?

a little water

– Last Updated: Aug-28-05 8:55 AM EST –

got in thru my nose once and i choked up a little. just a small amt.
just researched that condition and i doubt that's it because my upset stomach only lasted a couple of days.

i've felt a little better for the last few days but i'm still kinda out of it, very tired, and very very sore. i'm going to the doctor monday if i don't feel any better.

thanks for the diagnosis everyone.


Wait until fall
If you can avoid swimming in the Falls and Jordan lakes until October you’ll be better off. If you cannot I suggest rinsing your eyes and nose with the appropriate saline solution and using hydrogen peroxide in you ears after swimming.

Perhaps Kerr lake wouild be a better choice, but my favorite choice this time of year is the coast. Wilmington is pretty close and the sound behind Wrightsville beach has very clear water that is frequently flushed by ocean tides.

Primary amebic encephalitis

– Last Updated: Aug-29-05 10:43 PM EST –

usually is acquired from brackish waters. The person typically jumps into the water which can force water into their nose and through the cribriform plate near to the brain where the infection sets up. It's deadly. So don't jump into nasty waters and let it get up your nose forcefully.

You could be sore from your exercise with the flu-like symptoms being coincidental, but do see a doc if it is not significantly better in a few days. Meningitis symptoms can include a stiff neck and headache.