Rensselaer County health officials are warning residents not to drink water from a spring in the town of Stephentown after several residents fell ill with so-called Beaver Fever.
According to the county health department, six individuals became ill with Giardiasas -- commonly known as Beaver Fever -- after drinking water from a spring located a quarter-mile north of the intersection of Routes 22 and 43.
Five of the six are county residents, said county spokesperson Chris Meyer. They were separately identified as having the illness when their health care providers reported it to the county.
Giardiasas is an intestinal illness caused by a microscopic parasite called Giardia lamblia, according to the state Health Department.
It is a fairly common cause of diarrheal illness whose symptoms can appear from 3 to 25 days after exposure, but usually within 10 days.
Anyone who's consumed water from the spring and are experiencing symptoms of nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain or a combination of these symptoms is being urged to contact their doctor.
Treatment may consist of antibiotics.
The county has placed a fence around the spring with a sign warning of the potential health implications of consuming the water.
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