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Pool opens after shutdown, cleanup following parasite discovery


April 18, 2017

The Sweet Home School District closed the Sweet Home Community Pool for decontamination last week and reopened the pool Monday.

The Linn County Environmental Health Program notified the Sweet Home School District that the pool water may have been exposed between April 3 and April 12 to cryptosporidium, which can cause watery diarrhea and other intestinal symptoms, said district Business Manager Kevin Strong.

Linn County received a report of a cryptosporidium case through routine disease reporting, said county Environmental Health Program Manager Rick Partipilo in an email.

“Our communicable disease nurse conducted the case interview, which includes questions about possible exposures such as use of recreational water (pool, water slide, lake, etc.) and learned that the case had been swimming in the Sweet Home pool.”

“As a precaution, the pool was closed and a decontamination process involving maintaining higher than normal levels of chlorine for an extended period of time was followed. The decontamination process is now complete,” Strong said.

“The Sweet Home Community Pool reopened today after receiving assurance from the Linn County Environmental Health Program that the water is safe.

“The district has remained in contact with the Linn County Environmental Health Program to make sure that all guidelines are followed.”

Sweet Home School District staff chose to close the facility and maintain high chlorine levels for four days, Partipilo said. The district maintained those levels longer than than the minimum time to ensure that no viable crypto organisms remain the pool.

Cryptosporidium is a waterborne infectious disease common in the United States and globally, according to information provided by Partipilo. Transmission is fecal-oral. Most recognized outbreaks to date have been either waterborne or from direct animal contact. Well-documented problems include:

n Contact with fecally contaminated recreational water (e.g., swimming pools, water slides, fountains);

n Drinking fecally contaminated and inadequately treated water;

n Person-to-person spread by direct/indirect contact (e.g., in daycare centers);

n Drinking unpasteurized milk or cider;

n Contact with infected animals;

n Consumption of unpasteurized cheeses, raw shellfish, produce, or other contaminated food.

Strong provided additional information from the Centers for Disease Control about cryptosporidium, including symptoms and recommendations for what to do if someone believes he or she may have cryptosporidiosis.

What is cryptosporidiosis?

Cryptosporidiosis (or “crypto” for short) causes watery diarrhea. It is caused by microscopic germs – parasites called cryptosporidium.

Although crypto can affect all people, some groups are likely to develop more serious illness.

For people with weakened immune systems, symptoms can be severe and could lead to severe or life-threatening illness.

Examples of people with weakened immune systems include those with AIDS; those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system; and cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs.

What are the symptoms of cryptosporidiosis, when do they begin, and how long do they last?

Symptoms of crypto generally begin two to 10 days (average seven days) after becoming infected with the parasite.

Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, weight loss.

Symptoms usually last about one to two weeks (with a range of a few days to four or more weeks) in people with healthy immune systems. The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea. Some people with crypto will have no symptoms at all.

What should I do if I think I might have cryptosporidiosis?

For diarrhea whose cause has not been determined, the following actions may help relieve symptoms. Individuals who have health concerns should talk to their healthcare provider.

n Drink plenty of fluids to remain well hydrated and avoid dehydration. Serious health problems can occur if the body does not maintain proper fluid levels. For some people, diarrhea can be severe resulting in hospitalization due to dehydration.

n Maintain a well-balanced diet. Doing so may help speed recovery

n Avoid beverages that contain caffeine, such as tea, coffee, and many soft drinks.

n Avoid alcohol, as it can lead to dehydration.

n Contact your healthcare provider if you suspect that you have cryptosporidiosis.


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