Nectar Summer Sale

In a follow-up on the Cryptosporidium and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreak linked to the Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has identified at least 72 people who are part of a waterborne illness outbreak associated with the campground.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

The first case became ill on July 1 and the most recent case became ill on Aug. 3.

Disease investigators continue working with the Shades of Sherwood Campground owner in Zumbrota to better determine ongoing risks and to take steps to limit those risks.

Zumbrota is located 20 miles north of Rochester.

“Clearly there was contamination associated with this site and transmission has been occurring for some time,” said MDH Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann. “We cannot say for certain what the original source of contamination may have been, but we have evidence that ill people were swimming in the facility’s various water features while still shedding the pathogens and reintroducing them into the features over time. That is why it is so important for people to not swim anywhere while they have diarrhea or for two weeks after symptoms of infection with cryptosporidiosis or STEC have stopped.”

From 2008 to 2017, there were 51 reported recreational water illness outbreaks in Minnesota, resulting in 667 known illnesses. Half of the outbreaks were caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium,which can be introduced into water by infected people or animals. It is resistant to chlorine and can survive and spread even in a properly maintained pool or splash pad. That is why health officials recommend that people with symptoms of Cryptosporidium infection avoid swimming while ill and for at least two weeks after symptoms have cleared.