PORT ORCHARD -- A lab test has confirmed an illness that afflicted swimmers at Horseshoe Lake late last month was norovirus, according to a Wednesday advisory from Kitsap Public Health District.
Analysis of a stool sample from a person who swam at the lake and later became ill confirmed the presence of the highly contagious virus, which can cause nausea and diarrhea.
The swimming beach at Horseshoe Lake Park remains closed. The popular South Kitsap swimming hole has been the source of two other norovirus outbreaks in the past decade.
The district is investigating 148 cases linked to the viral outbreak. Most of the people who reported being ill swam at Horseshoe Lake on July 29. Some cases likely involve people who contracted the virus from a person who was infected, rather than directly from the lake.
Health officials advise people who are sick with a gastrointestinal illness to stay home for 48 hours after their symptoms subside, to avoid spreading the virus to other people.
Also on Wednesday, the health district issued a warning for high E.coli bacteria levels at the Kitsap Lake swimming area. An earlier cyanobacteria warning for the lake remains in effect, and "is not likely to be lifted anytime soon," according to the district.
For more information, go to kitsappublichealth.org.