Amelia man fighting MRSA after he says he swam in East Fork Lake

Amelia man fighting MRSA after he says he swam in East Fork Lake

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - State officials issued an ultimatum at East Fork State Park last month, saying swimming in the lake is at your own risk.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources found the lake to have 3,000% more toxins than acceptable
Now, one patient at UC Medical Center says it's that water that left him battling a nasty infection in his leg.
Daniel Cox of Amelia spends his days as of late in a hospital bed fighting the worst pain of his life.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, it's about 15," said Cox.
He's there because of an infection in his leg commonly known as MRSA.
"I went swimming in East Fork Lake.  I had a cut on my leg, with no idea that anything was going to happen," Cox told FOX19.
The lake at East Fork State Park has signs posted around warning people of an elevated toxin level in the water.  For those with weak
immune systems, it's recommended to stay away from the water, although the lake is not closed.
"A day later, my leg started swelling up, and then it kept progressing and getting worse and worse," said Cox.
His doctors are calling his infection "aggressive."
"If neglected long enough, this could have progressed to the point where the infection had really taken over his entire lower leg and required an amputation," said Dr. Jason Schrager at UC Medical Center.
While it's unclear that his MRSA infection came from those toxins, doctors say it's still a good idea to be careful, especially with an open wound.
"If you have a wound, not submerging it in, whether it be a lake, swimming pool, jacuzzi, while you have that wound open until it heals over, is probably is a good recommendation," said Dr. Schrager.
With a long road of recovery ahead including skin grafts to repair the infected area, for Cox, hindsight is 20/20.
"If you hear anything suspicious about the water, don't get in it.  That's all I can say.  If I knew then what I know now, I never would have got in the water," Cox said.

ODNR is testing the water weekly.  As of Sunday, the warnings about the water are still posted on their parks website.

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