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Stockton Man Says He Was ‘Zombie’ After Swimming In Stanislaus County Reservoir

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Nick Janes Nick Janes
Nick Janes joined KOVR/KMAX in December 2008 as a reporter. Nick...
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STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS13) — A Stockton man claims he got severely ill and nearly died after swimming in a popular lake, losing 28 pounds in just one week.

Luis Lopez swam at the Woodward Reservoir Regional Park in rural Stanislaus County.

“I couldn’t move; I couldn’t look around, like I was a zombie,” Lopez said.

UPDATE: Health Officials Want Woodward Reservoir Tested After Man Fell Ill, Felt Like ‘Zombie’

Now, there’s no sign of his life-threatening ordeal where he says his fever spiked to 107 degrees.

He says he was hospitalized for days after swimming at the reservoir.

“I couldn’t eat nothing, I was laying there like this,” he said, adding he didn’t think he would survive.

He says his doctors at Kaiser Manteca figured out it was a waterborne bacteria that made him sick—a bacteria so dangerous they’d have to notify the proper authorities.

And yet there were plenty of swimmers in the water on Monday. One mom remained unfazed, even after we told her about Lopez.

“They swallow water every time they swim; they’re fine,” said Nelia Chiley.

“”It’s not safe. They should have it posted everywhere,” Lopez said.

CBS13 found two signs—one on a bulletin board and another by the bathrooms—warning of unusually high bacteria in the water, advising to “swim at your own risk.” It’s not clear when they were posted.

We asked Stanislaus County, who runs the reservoir, why are people still allowed to swim?

The director of the county’s environmental resources and parks and recreation say an investigation will happen if and when they get a report from the Centers For Disease Control or the California Department of Public Health.

Until then, there are no restriction.

A Kaiser spokesman told CBS13 he couldn’t comment on the situation. The CDC did not respond to our request for an interview on Monday.

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