1987 Carroll County Cryptosporidiosis outbreak

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The 1987 Carroll County Cryptosporidiosis outbreak was a significant distribution of the Cryptosporidium protozoan in Carroll County, Georgia.[1] Between January 12 and February 7, 1987, approximately 13,000 of the 65,000 residents of the county suffered intestinal illness caused by the cryptosporidium parasite.[2] Cryptosporidiosis is characterized by watery diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting and fever.[3] Symptoms typically last for 1–4 weeks in immunocompetent individuals.[4]

The parasite was found to have been transmitted through the public water supply.[5] State health authorities were first alerted to the situation by Mary R. Miles, a health center physician at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia.[1]

A subsequent investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of Cryptosporidium in water samples taken from the municipal water system on January 28, February 4 and February 5. Edward B. Hayes, the lead epidemiologist from CDC, was unable to pinpoint the source of the contamination but "suspected" it was either "infected cattle bathing in a river" that supplied Carrollton's water or a sewage spill later discovered near the municipal water treatment plant.[2]

Dennis D. Juranek, also an epidemiologist at the CDC, observed that the treatment plant had at all times met the safe-water standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and questioned whether the standards were "tough enough to ensure that treatment plants snare passing microorganisms." Juranek said: "The Carrollton outbreak would seem to point out that if you're just meeting [EPA] standards, it's probably not adequate."[2]

It is believed that removal of mechanical agitators at the flocculation stage resulted in the passage of particulates.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hayes, Edward B.; Matte, Thomas D.; O'Brien, Thomas R.; McKinley, Thomas W.; Logsdon, Gary S.; Rose, Joan B.; Ungar, Beth L.P.; Word, David M.; Wilson, Margaret A.; Long, Earl G.; Hurwitz, Eugene S.; Juranek, Dennis D. (May 25, 1989). "Large Community Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Due to Contamination of a Filtered Public Water Supply". New England Journal of Medicine. 320 (21): 1372–1376. doi:10.1056/NEJM198905253202103. PMID 2716783.
  2. ^ a b c Fackelmann, K. A. (June 3, 1989). "Scientists Nab Water-Polluting Parasite". Science News. Retrieved August 2, 2014 – via Questia Online Library.
  3. ^ "Cryptosporidiosis". MedicineNet. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Cantey, P. T.; Kurian, A. K.; Jefferson, D; Moerbe, M. M.; Marshall, K; Blankenship, W. R.; Rothbarth, G. R.; Hwang, J; Hall, R; Yoder, J; Brunkard, J; Johnston, S; Xiao, L; Hill, V. R.; Sarisky, J; Zarate-Bermudez, M. A.; Otto, C; Hlavsa, M. C. (2012). "Outbreak of cryptosporidiosis associated with a man-made chlorinated lake--Tarrant County, Texas, 2008". Journal of Environmental Health. 75 (4): 14–9. PMID 23210393.
  5. ^ "MICROBE SURVIVES WATER PURIFICATION". The Boston Globe. Boston. May 25, 1989. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  6. ^ Kenneth A. Borchardt; Michael A. Noble (25 June 1997). Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Epidemiology, Pathology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. CRC Press. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-8493-9476-8.