It's a scary thought. Jumping into the water and coming out, feeling sick. That's what happened to Cecil County resident, Von Cole.
She says she went swimming in the North East River and her nightmare began.
There's been a lot of water concerns in Cecil County since a young girl from New York died from a brain eating amoeba after swimming in various creeks there. Now, Cole says just minutes after she got out of the river, she was seriously ill and ended up in the hospital for two weeks.
"I just kind of stayed in the water for about 20 minutes just swimming around and as soon as I got out, my throat immediately hurt," Cole said.
Cole boats on Cecil County's waters daily. For her, water is a way of life, until it threatened hers.
"I was feeling very sick, lots of chills, tons of pain and a headache that just wouldn't stop," she said. "I went to my local hospital told them that I had been swimming and that I had gotten sick and they ran some tests and found out that I had pneumonia and I was perfectly healthy when I had gotten in the water that Sunday."
Cole says she and a friend went swimming which she doesn't normally do there and then it was all down hill. Now, she thinks her lymph nodes may be affected because of her recent illness. She says, all signs point to the North East River.
"I was perfectly healthy until I got into the water that day."
The Cecil County Health put out a warning after a recent death from a brain eating parasite telling people they should protect mucus membranes and refrain from putting their heads underwater.
And while Cole can't be 100 percent sure that the water caused her to become sick, she's not talking any chances.
"We did reach out to them while I was in the hospital and they got the bacteria counts and it was after I was discharged that they actually came back and started putting out warnings," Cole said referring to the health department."
That department did put out a warning about the levels but Cole has a warning of her own.
"Swim at your own risk," she warned. "Just take every precaution. I love the Chesapeake Bay and I'm on these rivers every single day and I just want people to be safe."
Cole sys after she became ill, the health department put warnings out about the high levels of bacteria in the same water she swam in.
Health officials have not linked the brain eating infection and this instance, adding that swimming in any warm body of fresh water presents the risk for health risks, illnesses and infections.