Journal Article

First Reported Outbreak in the United States of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Recreational Lake

Michael H. Kramer, Faye E. Sorhage, Susan T. Goldstein, Elaine Dalley, Susanne P. Wahlquist and Barbara L. Herwaldt

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 26, issue 1, pages 27-33
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/516271
First Reported Outbreak in the United States of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Recreational Lake

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In the summer of 1994, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis occurred among visitors to a state park in New Jersey. We enrolled 185 persons in a cohort study, 38 (20.5%) of whom had laboratoryconfirmed cryptosporidiosis or gastrointestinal illness that met our clinical case definition. Having any exposure to lake water (e.g., swimming) was strongly associated with illness (P < .001). The outbreak lasted 4 weeks and affected an estimated 2,070 persons. The most likely sources of the outbreak were contaminated runoff of rainwater and infected bathers. This outbreak of cryptosporidiosis is the first reported to be associated with recreational exposure to lake water. Our investigation shows that even a large and ongoing outbreak may not be detected for several weeks. Health professionals and persons at high risk for severe cryptosporidiosis should be aware that recreational water can be a source of cryptosporidium infection.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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