DEQ Warns Of Waterborne Illness Amid Fake News Scare


Saturday, July 1st 2017, 6:33 pm
By: Grant Hermes


A startling report has been making its way around social media and e-mail inboxes with the headline, “Fort Supply Lake deemed dangerous until further notice.”

The story spoke of a dangerous bacterial outbreak in the popular Woodward area watering hole. The only problem? It's fake. 

The Army Corps of Engineers, which runs Fort Supply, said earlier this week there's nothing to worry about. 

The home button at the top of the page brings readers to a joke site. A website that says "Prank your friends now!" even including tips on how to write a click-worthy headline and article.

The fake news website “Breakingnews365.net” isn't registered in Oklahoma. According to the online tracking website IP-tracker.org, the site is based more than 1,600 miles away in San Francisco. The site's owner could not be reached. 

However, just because that report is a fraud doesn't mean swimmers shouldn't think about what's in the water before they dive in. Officials at the Department of Environmental Quality have put out a handy list of warnings for this holiday weekend. 

The list warns would be water goers to avoid swimming near places like drains or where there's stagnant water and to take breaks to use the restroom often. 

In a statement, the DEQ encouraged “those visiting Oklahoma's lakes, rivers and streams to take simple precautions ... natural bodies of water may contain organisms that can cause illness." 

Officials also suggest wearing goggles or nose plugs to avoid any bacteria from entering the body.

Last year, health officials warned about a deadly amoeba infection that attacks the brain. However, they added catching a waterborne illness is rare as long as swimmers take precautions. 

A full list of precautions and tops can be found here