Sick swimmers prompt closure of Lake Elmo pondWashington County officials are investigating the possible connection between cases of cryptosporidium and a popular Lake Elmo pond.
Washington County officials are investigating the possible connection between cases of cryptosporidium and a popular Lake Elmo pond.
The Lake Elmo Park Reserve swimming pond was closed Thursday, July 26, while officials “super chlorinate” the water, according to a county news release. The closure comes in response to recent illnesses involving swimmers.
The release said it there has not yet been a determination of whether the swimmers who are experiencing diarrhea contracted the illness at the pond, but officials applied the treatment to eradicate any possible protozoan bugs.
“Park visitor safety is our main concern,” Parks Director Elholm said in the release.
According to the release:
Two people with laboratory confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium (crypto) report swimming at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve swim pond in the two weeks prior to their onset of illness. There are also two additional laboratory confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium in people who reported swimming at the Lake Elmo swim pond just outside of their incubation period; it is possible that these cases could also be related. None of the cases have required hospitalization for their illness. Anyone who is concerned with illness should contact their health care provider.
The high levels of chlorine needed to kill any potential organisms will mean that the pond will be closed for at least 24 hours. The level of chlorine will dissipate naturally, and when it lowers, swimmers will be allowed back into the pond.
Public Health and Environment staff will also provide education and signs to inform people that anyone who has diarrhea should not be swimming while they have diarrhea and for two weeks after symptoms resolve. It is important that all swimmers practice good hygiene when swimming in pools and swim beaches.