Last week, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County issued an advisory after reporting an increase in the protozoan parasite, Cryptosporidium, in the area.
On Thursday, the City of Tarpon Springs, which is located in the the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area on the Gulf coast, reported on their Facebook page that at least three of the cases were in visitors of the Tarpon Springs Splash Park.
“The City was notified today by the Pinellas County Department of Health that they have received three confirmed cases of cryptosporidium in which the patients had been at the Tarpon Springs Splash Park during the incubation period. All three patients attended the park during the fourth week of July. The City completely replaced and treated the water and all associated water systems at the splash park on August 1st. In an abundance of caution, the park will be closed today and tomorrow while this process is repeated. We anticipate the park will reopen on Saturday, August 9th at 10 am,” the post states.
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that causes an infection called cryptosporidiosis affecting people and cattle. The most common symptom is watery diarrhea, which can range from mild to severe.
Although it’s most frequently seen in young children, cryptosporidium can affect anyone. People with weak immune systems are likely to be most seriously affected.
Cryptosporidium is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected human or animal feces. Transmission occurs through animal-to-human or human-to-human contact. Consuming contaminated water or food, swimming in contaminated water and children visiting petting zoos are common ways people contract the parasite.
It is typically a self-limiting illness in otherwise healthy individuals. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page