Health officials: 72 cases of illness linked to Minnesota campground

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ZUMBROTA, Minn. (KARE 11) — The Minnesota Department of Health says that 72 people have experienced symptoms of cryptosporidiosis since they began tracking the outbreak.

The department is working with the owners of the Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota to help eliminate or limit the risks of the diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites.

All of the people who were sick reported staying at the campground and using the recreational water features at the site.

“We’re doing everything we can to obviously further educate ourselves and the public on this and also to see what kind of steps we can take moving forward,” campground owner Mike Thoreson says.

To help prevent the spread of additional illness the owner of the campground closed the swimming pool and treated it with chlorine, posted signs at the pool to warn visitors to not swim for two weeks if they have been ill with diarrhea and they closed the man-made water pond because it cannot be effectively treated.

Owners also shut down the man-made pond.

“There still has been no tests that have shown where this is coming from,” Thoreson says. “The state hasn’t done any testing on anything because the testing is unreliable.”

The health department confirms it may never know where the outbreak originated.

“We have a large number of people who only went in this man-made pond, but we also have a couple people who only went in the river or only went in the swimming pool,” Waterborne Disease supervisor Trisha Robinson says.

Last week the health department said it had identified symptoms consistent with cryptosporidiosis or STEC infection: Diarrhea or vomiting for at least three days. The first case became ill on July 1 and the most recent case became ill on Aug. 3.

Health officials are asking people who visited the camp in July, regardless of whether they became ill, to call 651-201-5794.

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