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Parasitic illness linked to Zumbrota campground spreads to 72 people

Bacteria that cause waterborne illnesses were found at the Shades of Sherwood Campground.

Health officials say that waterborne illnesses contracted by visitors to a campground in Zumbrota have now spread to 72 people.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Health said three people had contracted illnesses linked to the discovery of cryptosoridium and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli after staying at the Shades of Sherwood campground.

But in a Friday update, MDH says that at least 72 people have been identified as part of the outbreak linked to the campground.

It's now working with the owner of the campground, who at the recommendation of health officials has closed the swimming pool and hyper-chlorinated it to kill any existing crypto.

They have also posted signs at the pool warning visitors not to swim for two weeks if they've been ill with diarrhea, while the man-made water pond at the campground has been closed to swimming.

As of Thursday, 72 people have symptoms consistent with waterborne illnesses, including diarrhea or vomiting for at least three days.

The first case was noted on July 1, with the most recent being reported on Aug. 3.

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Crypto is a common cause of waterborne disease, with symptoms including watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss and a low-grade fever.

Most recover in 1-2 weeks, but the parasite remains in their stools for at least two weeks after recovery. Around 10-15 percent of cases require hospitalization.

The parasite is able to survive outside the human body for long periods of time and is highly resistant to chlorine.

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