Volume 62, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Cryptosporidium parvum leaped to the attention of the United States following the 1993 outbreak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which sickened 400,000 people. Other outbreaks in the United States have been associated with drinking and recreational water, consumption of contaminated foods, contact with animals, and childcare attendance. Despite its public health importance, the number of people who become infected each year is not known. In 1997, active surveillance for C. parvum was added to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), a collaborative effort among the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, selected state health departments, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. During the first 2 years of surveillance, 1,023 laboratory-confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis were detected in FoodNet (Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, and selected counties in California, Georgia, Maryland, and New York). The annual rate per 100,000 persons was 2.3. Sixteen percent of case-patients were hospitalized. A seasonal increase in case detection was noted in late summer among persons less than 15 years of age. These data represent the first active multistate ascertainment of laboratory-confirmed cryptosporidiosis cases and provide useful information on the burden of disease in the United States.


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