June 20, 2024

Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak at Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, MN

An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis has occurred among people who visited the Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, Minnesota. Three people have been sickened in this outbreak; one person has been hospitalized. One of these patients was also infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

Shades of Sherwood Campground Cryptosporidium Outbreak

Minnesota Department of health investigators want to speak with anyone who has visited the Shades of Sherwood Campground since July 1, 2018, whether or not they have been sick. The press release states that “This step is especially important in this investigation because MDH investigators have been unable to get key information from the facility itself.” If you visited that campground during the month of July, please call the MDH Waterborne Diseases Unit at 651-201-5794.

Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal illness caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium. The illness is spread when people swallow fecal matter from an infected person or from an animal. The parasite can survive outside the human body for long periods of time. It is also highly resistant to chlorine. The parasite is protected by an outer shell.

The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include stomach cramps, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, low fever and watery diarrhea. Symptoms usually start about a week after exposure to the parasite. Most people get better in a week or two, but they will shed the parasite in their stools for at least two weeks after the symptoms end. If you visited the Shades of Sherwood Campground in July 2018 and have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor.

About 10 to 15% of patients need to be hospitalized with cryptosporidiosis because they are so sick. Symptoms are more severe in people who have weakened immune systems.

The best way to prevent this illness is to not go swimming if you have a diarrheal illness, and avoid swimming for two weeks after symptoms disappear. Cryptosporidiosis is the most common cause of recreational water illness outbreaks in the United States. About 350-400 cases of cryptosporidiosis are diagnosed in Minnesota every year.

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