News Details

No Health Concerns or Closures in Norco's Santa Ana River

On Thursday, August 8, Downey Park and all access trails and entrances to the Santa Ana River in Jurupa Valley were closed by Riverside County’s Departments of Environmental Health and Disease Control due to a possible outbreak of Shigella bacteria. However, there are no such restrictions or health concerns along the Santa Ana River in Norco.

Shigellosis (the infection caused by the bacteria) is rarely reported in Riverside County, and the restricted access in Jurupa Valley was imposed out of an abundance of caution. If any Shigella bacteria was detected in Norco, the City would advise residents of any precautions required.

Riverside County health officials are investigating a report of two Orange County residents with Shigella bacteria in which a section of the Santa Ana River may have been the source of the infection. While the source of the illness has not been confirmed, both patients said they had recently been to the same section of the Santa Ana River in Jurupa Valley.

“The public’s safety is always paramount. We advise the public to obey all posted signage closing access trails and entrances to the affected portion of the Santa Ana River,” said Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. Additionally, the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health has reached out to State agencies to assist with the investigation.

Shigellosis is an illness that causes diarrhea in humans. Symptoms of shigellosis include diarrhea, which is often bloody, fever, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms usually occur within four days after exposure to Shigella, and last five to seven days. Most people with shigellosis recover completely. The spread of Shigella can be stopped by frequent and careful handwashing with soap and taking other hygiene measures. Anyone with concerns about illness should contact their healthcare provider.

Although it is not closed in Norco, residents should be aware that swift and unpredictable water currents always make the Santa Ana River potentially dangerous for both hikers and horseback riders.

For more information, contact the Riverside University Health System:

Jose Arballo Jr., RUHS-Public Health

Senior Public Information Specialist

Office: 951.358.5599

Cell: 951.712.3705     

Email: jarballojr@ruhealth.org

Barbara Cole, RUHS-Public Health    

Director, Disease Control

Office: 951.358.5107

Cell:951.906.9001

Email: bcole@ruhealth.org