172491 Rapid Response and Containment of a Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Sedgwick County, Kansas

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Deborah Fromer, MT(ASCP), MPH , Sedgwick County Health Department, Wichita, KS
Janice McCoy, MPH , Sedgwick County Health Department, Wichita, KS
Cindy A. L. Burbach, DrPH, RN , Sedgwick County Health Department, Wichita, KS
From August, to mid-October 2007, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis resulted in gastrointestinal illness in 77 persons residing in Sedgwick County, Kansas. The median age of ill persons was 19 years (range: 1–71 years). Based on information from initial telephone interviews, reported signs and symptoms included diarrhea (90%), abdominal cramps (75%), nausea (62%), vomiting (60%) and fever (35%). Fecal samples were collected on 49 (64%) cases. One-hundred percent of samples collected were laboratory confirmed for cryptosporidium. Swimming in a pool or lake during the 2 weeks preceding onset of illness was reported by 58% of case-patients, 36% had not been swimming and 5% could not recall. Twenty-one (27%) of the cases occurred in children attending child care centers. Previously, Sedgwick County had a total of 7 reports of cryptosporidium dating from January 1, 2004 to January 1, 2007.

Laboratory-based epidemiologic surveillance in the community provided the insight to determine where and how transmission was occurring. To disseminate prevention messages rapidly local public health officials utilized the media via newspapers, radio and televised reports, notified area physicians through blast faxes, and advised all area pool managers and day care centers of the increased potential for cryptosporidiosis in the community. Public awareness, an understanding that recreational water facilities should be avoided during diarrheal illness and proper pool hygiene were vital components in the containment of this outbreak. Measures taken to reduce the risk of waterborne cryptosporidiosis in the Sedgwick County community include re-evaluation of the current swimming pool ordinance.

Learning Objectives:
•Examine the role of epidemiologic surveillance in a cryptosporidium outbreak •Recognize the potential contribution of proper media utilization in public health •Develop measures to reduce water borne disease

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have no conflicts.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.