And in my own old home state, too! Oh Idaho, first Sen. Craig and now Cryptosporidium... I think your PR campaign is going great. Boise will big the #1 hotspot for gay tourists, and you also get an excuse to maybe get a contract for a biodefense lab for the state (run on Nuclear energy of course!). Any way, here's the AP with the story:
"BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Nearly 230 Idaho residents have been sickened by a waterborne parasite this year, along with hundreds of others across the Rocky Mountain West, health officials said.
The cryptosporidium outbreak has reached record numbers, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan said, and has federal officials looking at the role water parks and public pools play in spreading the diarrhea-causing parasite.
Since 1995, Idaho has averaged about 23 cryptosporidium cases a year, said Dr. Randall Nett, an epidemic intelligence officer with Idaho's Health and Welfare Department. But this year, 229 cases have been reported, the vast majority in the Boise and Meridian areas.
Nearby Utah has been even harder hit, with more than 1,600 illnesses attributed to cryptosporidium so far this year, Utah Department of Health epidemiologist Diane Raccasi said.
"It's a record year by a long way," said Nett. "There's probably going to have to be some research done to determine if it was weather, rainfall, runoff or other things contributing to the outbreak."
Colorado and other Western states have also reported increases, Nett said. However, Montana has seen a decrease. There have been 42 cryptosporidium cases so far this year, compared to 93 at this point in 2006, according to Jon Ebelt, spokesman for the Montana Department of Public Health and Services. There were 152 total cases last year, driven in part by an outbreak at a Missoula water park, Ebelt said.
Health officials believe splash parks and other recreational water parks can offer the hardy parasite the opportunity to rapidly spread from person to person.
Splash parks are often a feature of city parks, and are popular with younger children because they require no swimming skills. Instead of a pool, water sprays up from spouts in the ground, somewhat like a glorified sprinkler system. Many parks also feature water guns or water slides.
But at parks where water is recirculated, the spray can rinse any contamination — whether from diarrhea, vomit or dirt — down into a water holding area and back up through the water spouts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Unfortunately, there's no national pool code to regulate how these splash pads are designed, so the CDC is working with a consortium of scientists to come up with a model pool code," similar to what the Food and Drug Administration created for food, Nett said.
"To prevent outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis, change is needed in the way we build and operate the nation's disinfected recreational water facilities," the CDC wrote in a report earlier this summer. "Key changes call for the inclusion of new supplementary disinfection measures that kill the parasite ... and existing chlorine disinfection."--------------------------------------------------------------
And waterparks are a huge thing in Idaho and Utah, too... the big tunnel ride kind with the giant wave pool. Man those are fun.
Too bad the waterpark industry couldn't standardize cleaning and filtration processes to make them safe... heh. Just goes to show you the lack of standardization when an industry is unregulated.
"Hey there ain't no law that says we can't skimp on our Muriatic acid levels, so fuck it lets save a few nickels!"
It's this kind of thinking that leads to regulation. The market can solve this, but every market solution is a reaction, and prevention is either legislated or the business must up and decide to regulate themselves.