A GOLD COAST family suspect a swim in Lake Ainsworth led to a bout of gastro that ruined their Christmas holiday.
"We ended up with four sick kids so it was just a really disappointing holiday for us," said Amanda Lake.
Ms Lake's daughter, Ruby Clark, and her friend's children, Amber and Tahlia Stewart, were struck down with gastro following a swim in the lake on Boxing Day.
"It was a really violent bug because we had three kids projectile vomiting all night," she explained.
When the children recovered, the family returned to the lake on December 29, but hours later Ms Lake's son also started vomiting.
"If we had known there was even a remote chance these kids were sick because of the lake there is no way we would have taken them back for a repeat performance," Ms Lake said.
Last week Ballina Shire Council notified North Coast Public Health of complaints that people believed they had become ill after swimming in the lake in early January.
Council's Regulatory Services group manager Rod Willis said waterways contained more nutrients after rain.
"We do caution people not to swim within three days of heavy rain, and that applies to people swimming in beaches, estuaries and Lake Ainsworth."
But Ms Lake said tourists may not be aware of this advice.
"They have a duty of care to warn people. It's a holiday spot and you have people who are not from there, so how are they supposed to know?"
Public Health North Coast assistant director Greg Bell said it had not received any complaints.
"We have received nothing concrete about the cause of the alleged illness and at present we have seen no clusters or reports come from doctors."
A water sample taken at Lake Ainsworth on January 19 showed it was considered safe for swimming.
However, a Lennox Head resident who did not wish to be named said the gastro outbreak was unlikely to be caused by rain. He said locals avoid the lake around Christmas because the increase in swimmers reduces water quality.
IS THERE A BUG GOING ROUND OR IS THE LAKE THE ISSUE? Please comment below.
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