Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis associated with a swimming pool

R. E. Jocea1 c1, J. Brucea1, D. Kielya1, N. D. Noaha1, W. B. Dempstera2, R. Stalkera2, P. Gumsleya3, P. A. Chapmana4, P. Normana4, J. Watkinsa5, H. V. Smitha6, T. J. Pricea7 and D. Wattsa8

a1 Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre. London

a2 Doncaster Health Authority

a3 Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council

a4 Sheffield Public Health Laboratory

a5 Yorkshire Water

a6 Scottish Parasite Diagnostic Laboratory, Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow

a7 Broxbourne Borough Council

a8 Watts and Associates, Cheam


In August 1988 an increase was noted in the number of cases of cryptosporidiosis identified by the microbiology laboratory at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. By 31 October, 67 cases had been reported. Preliminary investigations implicated the use of one of two swimming pools at a local sports centre and oocysts were identified in the pool water. Inspection of the pool revealed significant plumbing defects which had allowed ingress of sewage from the main sewer into the circulating pool water. Epidemiological investigation confirmed an association between head immersion and illness. The pools were closed when oocysts were identified in the water and extensive cleaning and repair work was undertaken. The pool water was retested for cryptosporidial oocysts and found to be negative before the pool re-opened.

(Accepted July 09 1991)


c1 Dr R. Joce, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, North and East Hertfordshire Departments of Public Health Medicine, Hampden House, Bedford Road, Hitchin, Herts SG5 2LH