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Waterparks are high risk for cryptosporidiosis: A case-control study in Victoria, 2015

de Gooyer, TE, Gregory, J, Easton, M, Stephens, N ORCID: 0000-0002-7952-4581, Fearnley, E and Kirk, M 2017 , 'Waterparks are high risk for cryptosporidiosis: A case-control study in Victoria, 2015' , Communicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report, vol. 41, no. 2 , E142-E149 .

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Background: An increase in notifications of cryptosporidiosis was observed in Victoria between March and April 2015. Cases mostly resided in one metropolitan region and hypothesis-generating interviews identified common exposures to aquatic facilities. We conducted a case-control study to determine exposure source(s) and facilitate control measures. Methods: Laboratory-confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis from the region of interest notified between 1 March and 23 April 2015 were included. Controls residing in the same region were recruited from participants in a population health survey and frequency matched (2 per case) by age group. Details of exposure to potential risk factors were collected using a standardised telephone questionnaire for the 14-days prior to illness for cases, and an analogous exposure period for controls. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to determine risk factors associated with illness using STATA SE 13.1. Results: Thirty cases and 66 controls were included in the study. Half the cases were less than 12 years of age and 62% were female. Illness was most strongly associated with recreational water exposure at any waterpark (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)= 73.5; 95% confidence interval (CI): 6.74-802), and specifically at Victorian waterparks (aOR= 45.6; 95% CI: 5.20-399). Cases were linked with attendance at either a waterpark in the region or an adjacent region. As a result of this investigation, hyperchlorination was completed at identified facilities and swim hygiene information distributed. Conclusion: This study reinforces the potential for recreational water facilities, particularly waterparks, to act as a transmission source of Cryptosporidium infections. Continued communication to patrons is required to ensure healthy swimming practice in Victorian aquatic facilities.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:de Gooyer, TE and Gregory, J and Easton, M and Stephens, N and Fearnley, E and Kirk, M
Keywords: cryptosporidiosis, cryptosporidium, case-control study, waterborne disease, waterparks
Journal or Publication Title: Communicable Diseases Intelligence Quarterly Report
Publisher: Australian Government. Department of Health and Ageing. Office of Health Protection, Surveillance Branch
ISSN: 1447-4514
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Commonwealth of Australia

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