A Reporter's Personal Story: Hidden Dangers In Lakes, Rivers - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

A Reporter's Personal Story: Hidden Dangers In Lakes, Rivers

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by Nick Beres

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - With the summer season about to begin, most of us will take part in water activities and there are important things you need to know before going in the water.  Just ask me... I'll tell you about it.

I am an avid paddle boarder and was working out on Percy Priest Lake. 

"It's safe," said Doug Markham with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. "We get a lot of questions over at the TWRA about 'can fish be eaten out of these lakes? Is it okay to swim?' The answer is yes."

However, Markham conceded there are pollutants and bacteria that can be harmful, and I learned that firsthand.

Not long after that paddle on Percy Priest, my hand started to swell. By the next day, I had a red line going up my arm and I went to the doctor.

"It's an opportunistic germ. It's looking for a place to seek residency and the human skin is a place it can happen fairly common," said Dr. Denise Buntin, a dermatologist. 

She did a biopsy and discovered I had a bacterial infection in my arm. The germ entered through a small wound from a hang nail on my index finger.

"On the pathology there was a chronic dermatitis" said Buntin.

I was put on antibiotics for more than three months.

So, what does all this mean to you?

The bottom line: Most people do not get sick from the lakes and rivers, but a good rule of thumb is never enter the water if you have an open wound of any kind -- even if you cut yourself shaving. 

And if you do, make sure to clean the wound immediately after. You never know what type of bacteria might pay you a nasty visit.

Email: nberes@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5NickBeres
Twitter: Twitter.com/NC5_NickBeres

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