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Kansas health officials: don't use Missouri River

The Associated Press

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TOPEKA - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is advising people to avoid contact with the Missouri River.

The health department issued a health advisory Tuesday for all portions of the Missouri River that flow through the state. It advises that the flooding could sweep pathogens from surface water and partially treated sewage into the river.

The department is advising people to avoid contact with the river and to restrict pets and livestock from the river until flooding eases, which might not be for weeks. Pathogens can cause skin, ear, respiratory, eye and wound infections and diarrhea.

The KDHE says it's working to evaluate the risk of flooded wastewater treatment systems and has notified downstream water suppliers of the threat.

June 15, 2011