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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Jun 12;58(22):615-8.

Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis associated with a splash park - Idaho, 2007.

Erratum in

  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.2009 Jul 24;58(28):781.
  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009 Jun 19;58(23):645.


On August 6, 2007, Idaho's Central District Health Department (CDHD) received a complaint of several ill persons with watery diarrhea consistent with cryptosporidiosis after attendance at a municipal splash park on July 26. Cryptosporidium spp. is a protozoan that causes diarrheal illness and has been implicated previously in recreational water illness outbreaks at splash parks. CDHD and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) initiated an investigation of illness among municipal park visitors who attended reservation-only gatherings at an onsite pavilion July 23-August 10. The investigation revealed five immunofluorescence assay (IFA)-confirmed and 45 clinically compatible cases of cryptosporidiosis among 154 persons interviewed (32% attack rate). Patients were more likely than non-ill park visitors to have been exposed to water from a splash feature (relative risk [RR] = 6.1) [corrected]. Water samples collected from splash features and an adjacent drinking fountain tested positive for Cryptosporidium hominis. This report summarizes the investigation of the outbreak and highlights the importance of splash park design, operation, access to hygiene facilities, and public education in prevention of waterborne cryptosporidiosis and other infectious agents. Educational efforts and enactment of regulations requiring enhanced disinfection technology, exclusion of persons with diarrhea, adequate hygiene facilities, and preconstruction consultation with health departments might decrease the risk for recreational water illness at splash parks.

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