The City of Austin is asking people not to swim at Bull Creek District Park due to high levels of bacteria being detected. This bacteria may cause illness, so swimming and contact with the water are not recommended.

Shigella image/CDC
Shigella image/CDC

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department has recently received three reports of shigellosis, an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella.

Shigellosis is an illness that can last from four to seven days and causes diarrhea. Fever and stomach cramps may also be present. This illness is caused by swallowing the bacteria, and a person exposed to Shigella may develop the illness in one to three days after being exposed. People who have symptoms should contact a physician.

The three people who are confirmed to have contracted shigellosis all reported swimming at Bull Creek District Park one to two days before onset of illness. Bull Creek is located along parts of Spicewood Springs Road and Highway 360 and flows into Lake Austin. Recent monitoring of Bull Creek has identified high levels of fecal coliforms.

Therefore, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, Parks and Recreation Department and Watershed Protection Department are advising people to avoid swimming in Bull Creek.