Parasite Making People Sick at Rothschild Pool

By: Jonalee Merkel Email
By: Jonalee Merkel Email

The Marathon County Health Department has closed the Rothschild-Schofield Aquatic Center due to an outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis.

Health officials say eight cases of the disease have been reported since August 6.

A typical month only yields as many as four cases.

According to the MCHD:

-Cryptosporidium is a single-celled parasite that is shed in the feces of infected people and animals

-People become infected by swallowing the parasite

-Common sources include contaminated food, water or direct contact with the parasite in the stool of an infected person

-Only takes a few cells to make a person sick

-Common symptoms include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache and loss of appetite

-No specific treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Persons with severe diarrhea should consult their physician for testing and treatment for dehydration. Experts say avoid swimming when you have diarrhea, and wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, changing diapers and before handling food.

Health officials say they discovered several of the infected patients had reported swimming at the Aquatic Center.

The Health Department says it's working with Aquatic Center staff to treat the water and clean facilities.

The pool will be treated with a higher concentration of chlorine to kill the bug before next summer.

The Aquatic Center was originally planned to close for the season on Friday.

This is only the second time a Marathon County pool has been closed due to a Cryptosporidium outbreak.

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