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EPIDEMIOLOGIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF A RECREATIONAL WATER OUTBREAK CAUSED BY TWO GENOTYPES OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM PARVUM IN OHIO IN 2000

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  • 1 Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Applied Public Health Training, Epidemiology Program Office, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center of Infectious Diseases, and National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Delaware City and County Health Department, Delaware, Ohio; Ohio Department of Health, Columbus, Ohio

In August 2000, the Ohio Department of Health requested assistance to investigate a cryptosporidiosis outbreak with more than 700 clinical case-patients. An epidemiologic and environmental investigation was conducted. Stool specimens, pool water, and sand filter samples were analyzed. A community-based case-control study showed that the main risk factor was swimming in pool A (odds ratio [OR] = 42, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 12.3–144.9). This was supported by results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, which showed the presence of both the human and bovine genotypes of Cryptosporidium parvum in case-patients and samples from the filter of pool A. A pool-based case-control study indicated that the highest risk was related to exposure to pool water via the mouth (OR = 5.1, 95% CI = 2.1–12.5) or to pool sprinklers (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.3–4.7). Fecal accidents at the pool were documented. Records indicated that the pool met local health regulations. The outbreak, caused by co-infection with two C. parvum genotypes (human and bovine), underscores the need for concerted action to improve public health policies for recreational water facilities and enhanced education regarding the potential for disease transmission through pools.

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