ZUMBROTA, Minn. (WCCO) – At least 72 people have been identified as part of a waterborne illness outbreak associated with Shades of Sherwood Campground in Zumbrota, according to Minnesota Department of Health.
The illnesses are caused by Cryptosporidium and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Those infected reported staying at the campground and using recreational water features at the site.
The first confirmed case became ill on July 1, and the most recent case became ill on Aug. 3. Symptoms of the virus include diarrhea or vomiting for at least three days.
“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,” said MDH Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann. “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.”
Several steps have been taken to prevent additional illnesses, according to MDH, including temporarily closing the swimming pool and hyper-chlorinating its water. The pool is currently open. The campground owner has also closed the man-made water pond to swimming since it cannot be effectively treated due to its construction.
The campground has posted signs at the pool warning visitors not to swim for two weeks if they have been ill.
More information about waterborne illness and cryptosporidiosis can be found on the MDH website.