Cryptosporidium outbreak hits the West
yahoo newsBOISE, Idaho - 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. Colorado and other Western states have also reported increases, Nett said.