Sunday, May 19, 2024

Lake Wainamu cleared of Leptospira

Lake Wainamu has been given the all clear by Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) following an earlier positive result for Leptospira bacteria.

Follow-up sampling by the Unit has returned negative results for the lake, Waitī stream and Bethells lagoon of the bacteria.

“Public health warnings at the lake and on Safeswim will now be removed, however we ask the public to use caution as they would with any freshwater body after heavy rainfall events which can cause contaminated run-off from farmland,” Council said in a statement.

“We would like to remind the public that Lake Wainamu remains closed to the public following storm events earlier this year, as well as Lake Wainamu carpark and Lake Wainamu and Te Henga walkways.

Leptospirosis is an acute illness caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cough and red eye, and people affected often need hospital treatment.

It is not uncommon to see leptospira in rural waterways where feral animals are present and it can persist for a long time in freshwater bodies such as lakes and streams.

Lake Wainamu is approximately two kilometres inland from Te Henga / Bethells Beach. The lake is within Lake Wainamu Scenic Reserve and administered by Auckland Council as part of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. A small portion of the lake edge and buffering vegetation is on private property.

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