Strafford Pond closed amid fears of bacteria infection

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A pond in Strafford has been closed after four people who took swimming lessons at it were sickened, apparently by a bacterial infection.

Strafford Pond was closed indefinitely last week by the state amid concerns it could be a source of leptospirosis.

The infection is spread by animal urine and more often seen in tropical climate. Leptospirosis can cause fevers, jaundice, rashes and nausea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In some cases, it causes kidney failure, liver failure or meningitis, with a small percentage of victims – between 1 and 5 percent – dying from it, according to the CDC.

Four people with symptoms consistent with the ailment have been identified by the state. Officials are awaiting the results of blood tests before confirming the diagnosis.

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