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Burger’s Lake Crytpo Cases Grow to 67, Officials Say

July 31, 2008

By Elizabeth Campbell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas

Jul. 31–The number of cases of Cryptosporidium at Burger’s Lake has grown to 67, the Tarrant County Public Health department said Thursday.

An outbreak occurred last month at the popular west Fort Worth swimming hole, where the parasite was found in the water. The spring-fed lake reopened Sunday after being closed for 10 days.

A Cleburne water park was closed over the weekend after a lifeguard tested positive for crypto, and now that it has reopened, people visiting the park are being screened to make sure they haven’t been sick.

When people arrive at the Splash Station park they are asked to read a statement that says they will not use the facilities if they have had diarrhea, vomiting or fever. Guests are then asked whether they understand the statement, said Max Robertson, director of parks and recreation in Cleburne.

So far, no one has been turned away from the park, he said.

“We are doing this as a precaution; we want to be as safe as possible,” he said.

On Saturday morning, officials learned that a lifeguard employed at Splash Station tested positive for the waterborne parasite, which can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps for up to two weeks. Robertson said the lifeguard had recently returned from a trip, but he doesn’t know how the employee contracted the illness.

City health officials closed Splash Station on Saturday morning to hyperchlorinate the water.

How is crypto spread? If a child wearing a diaper or anyone with diarrhea and enters a swimming pool, the parasite can be released into the water. By swallowing contaminated water — whether in swimming pools, hot tubs, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds or streams — a person can become sick. The parasite can also be ingested if water enters a person’s nose, officials said. Crypto has been found in untreated drinking water.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas

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