Health department investigating water sicknesses at Alabama Adventure

BESSEMER, AL (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating reports of several people getting sick after visiting the water park at Alabama Adventure in Bessemer.

The state health department, in a statement Friday afternoon to FOX6 News, said it was investigating a, "cluster of ill persons" associated with the Alabama Adventure Water Park in Bessemer. The health department said these individuals tested positive for a parasite that causes an illness called cryptosporidiosis.

Dr. Charles Wornle at the ADPH said there are eight people in three households that contracted the parasite.

The health department said its staff is working with the facility to eliminate any contamination, and said the water park will remain closed until all pools are decontaminated. Dr. Wornle said that normally takes about 24 hours.

The health department said symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include frequent, watery diarrhea that generally occurs within 1-12 days after infection. Some people may also have abdominal cramping, headache, nausea, vomiting and low-grade fever, while other persons may have no symptoms.

The health department said people who are ill should consult with their health care provider. Cryptosporidiosis in otherwise healthy persons is usually a self-limited illness.
The health department said illnesses in recreational waters are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers or oceans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following the healthy swimming guidelines for people using recreational water facilities:

    * Do not swim when you are ill with diarrhea.
    * If you have cryptosporidiosis, do not swim until two weeks after your diarrhea ends.
    * Do not swallow the water when you swim or wade in a pool/lake/river water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
    * Practice good hygiene (such as showering before swimming).
    * Please take children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear "I need to go," may mean that it is too late.
    * Please change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
    * Please wash children thoroughly (especially in the diaper region) with soap and water before swimming.

For more information, the health department is encouraging people to visit the CDC's Healthy Swimming website at to learn how to protect yourself and others by following tips for healthy swimming.

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