- Associated Press - Friday, July 4, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality are reminding boaters and swimmers to use caution as they head out to area lakes and streams over the holiday weekend.

The department says certain bacteria, viruses and protozoa can be present in untreated bodies of water. Some of the microorganisms are harmful and can cause mild problems, such as ear infection, swimmer’s itch, gastrointestinal upset or relatively rare but serious conditions such as eye infections and some forms of meningitis.

The department says swimmers should take precautions by washing open skin cuts and scrapes with clean soap and water immediately after swimming. It also says swimmers should avoid swallowing water and wear ear plugs, swim goggles or masks to prevent infections, among other precautions.

For more information, visit www.deq.state.ok.us .

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