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Bridgton closes Woods Pond Beach after 18 people sickened

Bridgton officials have closed Woods Pond Beach after 18 people reported getting sick this past week after swimming at the beach.

BRIDGTON (WGME) -- The town of Bridgton says the water won't be tested until Monday, but the signs are up at Woods Pond Beach after 18 people are reported sick.

"I just know for a while we will not be going to the beach," said Sheila Yates of Naples, who brought her four daughters to the beach last week for a swim.

Yates said within days her seven-year-old daughter Sophia was violently ill.

"She woke up, she was complaining her stomach hurt and shortly after the vomiting started," she said.

Many parents are sharing similar stories. Megan Harmon's nine-year-old son was vomiting and exhausted for three days after swimming at Woods Pond Beach on Tuesday.

"It's scary to think that just by swimming he could get so violently ill," Harmon said.

The town said 16 more people reported similar symptoms, and the beach was closed on Friday.

"Once we heard from the CDC the extent of injuries we had the beach posted," Town Manager Robert Peabody Jr. said.

The water can't be tested until Monday, meaning at this point officials have no idea what sickened swimmers, or how.

"You never want people to come visit your town and enjoy all that we have here and get sick from it," Peabody said.

As the town waits for answers, parents say one health scare this summer is enough.

"My 7 year old could barely handle the amount of pain that she was in," Yates said. "So I could not imagine if it happened to my one year old daughter."

"It's going to ruin a lot of people's summers if we can't go to the beach," Harmon said.

The Maine Centers for Disease Control always recommends no matter what body of water you're going into, to shower both before and after you go swimming, and to never ingest the water.

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