Number of suspected illnesses increases in Duluth water park outbreakThe number of suspected cases of a waterborne disease linked with Duluth’s Edgewater Resort and Water Park has risen to 41, a state official said on Thursday.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
The number of suspected cases of a waterborne disease linked with Duluth’s Edgewater Resort and Water Park has risen to 41, a state official said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, a second outbreak of cryptosporidiosis has been linked to a water park in the Brainerd area. Cryptosporidiosis typically is shortened as crypto.
Trisha Robinson, an epidemiologist for the Minnesota Department of Health, said it wasn’t a surprise that the number of suspected cases linked to the Edgewater grew from the six that were listed when reports became public Tuesday. It is believed that for every confirmed case in a crypto outbreak, there are 98.6 additional cases, Robinson has said.
The number of confirmed cases remained at three on Thursday. Robinson said it’s probable that some, but not all, of the suspected cases eventually will be confirmed as crypto.
The outbreak of the same illness linked to the Lodge at Brainerd Lakes so far is not as extensive as the Edgewater outbreak, Robinson said. As of Thursday, one case had been confirmed and 14 cases were suspected.
Robinson, whose specialties include crypto, said she typically investigates between one and three outbreaks of the disease each year. To have two outbreaks occur simultaneously is “unprecedented,” she said.
All of the people who became ill in the Duluth outbreak had spent time at the Edgewater Resort’s water park sometime in March. The victims included children and adults and residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Crypto is caused by a parasite called Cryptosporidium that is spread by human feces in water. The primary symptom is watery diarrhea. Other symptoms may include abdominal cramping, nausea, dehydration and a low-grade fever. Symptoms generally persist for two weeks.
It can take anywhere from two days to two weeks for symptoms to appear, Robinson said, meaning some people may have been infected who have not yet shown symptoms.
Those with crypto typically remain infectious for two weeks after symptoms go away, Robinson said. She urged people who have had diarrhea to stay away from recreational water facilities for at least two weeks.
The Edgewater closed its water park Monday afternoon and treated the water with super-chlorination, which destroys the parasite. It reopened Tuesday morning.
The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes also closed its water facilities on Monday to go through the same process. It was scheduled to reopen on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.