Cryptosporidium outbreaks at the height of swim
season have sickened bathers and closed many Southwestern
pools and sprayparks.
In the Dallas metroplex, medical examiners are
investigating whether a 6-year-old?s death was a
result of crypto. At least 100 people in the area
were sickened, and 84 were confirmed with the disease. The
likely source was an outbreak at Burger?s Lake Park
in Fort Worth, Texas. As a result, officials across the
region acted pre-emptively.
All city-run pools and many sprayparks in Dallas, Fort
Worth, Arlington, Garland, Frisco and other North Texas
communities were closed. Additionally, the YMCAs of
Metropolitan Dallas and Fort Worth closed their pools for
superchlorination, as did operators at Hawaiian Gardens
waterpark in Garland, after a reported crypto case
there. Burger?s Lake was closed for about two weeks
As of press time, Dallas had recorded 41 cases of
crypto since June, compared with 237 documented
cases last year. To prevent another outbreak, weekly
superchlorination was scheduled at all Dallas public pools
and sprayparks for the remainder of the summer, the Dallas
Morning News reported. Health department officials sent an
alert to area doctors.
In Phoenix, lifeguards and some swimmers became ill, so
all 29 pools were closed for several days. Local media
reported as many as 58 people may have been sickened. The
county usually sees 20 to 30 cases
annually, said Dr. Bob England, director, Maricopa
County Department of Public Health.
?We have increased our efforts to educate the
public about the need [for] proper hygiene when using our
pools,? said Ted Koester, acting deputy director,
Parks and Recreation Department, Specialized Maintenance
and Aquatics Division. ?We have [also] made swim
diapers available at all our pools. During the upcoming off
season, we?ll be thoroughly examining all practices
and policies regarding pool operation.?
In light of the closures in Phoenix, surrounding Arizona
communities including Tempe, Chandler, Surprise
and Sun City also tested their public pools. The
Cox Splash Playground at Tempe Beach Park in Tempe and the
aquatics facility in Goodyear were closed for disinfection
after the parasite was discovered at those locations.