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September 11, 2007: Over 1,300 Cases of Cryptosporidiosis Reported in Utah – Swimming Restrictions Extended

According to the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) website, swimming restrictions pertaining to children under the age of five have been extended for an additional two weeks. The requirements for scheduled pool treatments have also been extended for the two-week period.

The restrictions were announced on August 28, in an effort to abate a statewide cryptosporidiosis outbreak that occurred this summer. So far, more than 1,300 cases of the infection (often referred to as crypto) have been reported, in comparison to the 30 or so cases that are typically reported each year.

The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis, the illness caused by Cryptosporidium, is watery diarrhea, but an infected individual may also experience stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting, fever, dehydration and weight loss. To learn more about Cryptosporidium, please see About Cryptosporidium and Symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis .

Doctor Robert Rolfs, UDOH state epidemiologist, provided a rationale for the extension stating, “We’re experiencing a lag of approximately 18 days from when an individual is initially exposed to when the diagnosis is confirmed and reported to the state. Given that timeline, we feel it’s best to leave the restrictions in place for two more weeks so we can more accurately determine the effectiveness of the restrictions.”

The restrictions are in place for public swimming pools under the jurisdictions of the following health departments: Bear River (Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties), Central Utah (Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne counties), Davis County, Salt Lake Valley, Southeast Utah (Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan counties), Summit County, Tooele County, Utah County, Wasatch County and Weber-Morgan.

Health officials are also reminding individuals that they can help prevent the transmission of cryptosporidiosis via person-to-person contact by practicing good hygiene. Individuals are encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, before handling or eating food, and each time after changing a diaper (even if wearing gloves).

The website warns that although Cryptosporidium can infect anyone, the following groups are more likely to develop more serious illness:

  • Young children and pregnant women may be more susceptible to the dehydration resulting from diarrhea, and should drink plenty of fluids while ill.
  • Anyone with a severely weakened immune system is at risk for more serious disease and should refrain from swimming until the outbreak is over. The symptoms will be more severe and could lead to serious or life-threatening illness. Examples of persons with weakened immune systems include those with HIV/AIDS; cancer and transplant patients who are taking certain immunosuppressive drugs; and those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system.

And finally, the site provides the following six U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggestions for your safety:

  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea, and for two weeks after the disease has cleared.
  • Don’t swallow the pool water.
  • Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Take the kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside.
  • Wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming.

For information about the waterborne parasite, Giardia, please refer to To learn more about food poisoning and waterborne illnesses, please visit These sites are sponsored by the Law Offices of Eric H. Weinberg. Please contact us toll free at 1-877-934-6274 if you have any questions or concerns.

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