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Seneca Lake State Park Sprayground closed after 1,800 people become ill

August 20th, 2005

Seneca Lake State Park Sprayground closed after 1,800 people become ill

Spray pool

Seneca Lake State Park in upstate New York Spray Park was contaminated with the cryptosporidiosis parasite and has caused nearly 1,800 people to become ill.   

The New York State Department of Health has been investigating the illness outbreak and traced the roots to the 11,000 square – foot Sprayground’s water holding tanks.  The cryptosporidiosis is a parasite that has a strong protective shell that can survive chlorine disinfectants.  If a person becomes infected by this parasite, it can take up to a week for the symptoms to occur and can last up to two weeks.  The symptoms are usually diarrhea; some will experience dehydration, stomach cramps, weight loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. 

The State Parks Department has closed the Sprayground and expects the attraction to be closed the rest of the year.

This parasite is contagious and anyone that has been infected should not go swimming to prevent spreading the parasite.  It is also recommended that you should stay at home if you are sick and wash your hands well.


This is not the first time that the cryptosporidiosis parasite has contaminated public waters.  It is one of the most common waterborne illnesses for the last two decades in the United States.  The parasite is found in drinking water as well as recreational water throughout the world.  

How the crypto parasite is spread is by drinking the water that is contaminated, or by the feces of a person or an animal that is infected and has touched and eaten the parasite from being unsanitary, not washing fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating can also cause the infection.

This is usually not a serious condition except for young children and pregnant women who are in danger of becoming dehydrated.  Make sure to drink plenty of fluid during the illness.  One way to get fluid is to take small amounts at regular intervals. 


It can be very serious if you have an immune system that is already severely weakened.  You may have a more life threatening illness and it would be wise to seek medical attention if this is the case.

It is not uncommon for the cryptosporidiosis parasite to show up in public swimming pools in the late summer, and the Seneca Sprayground contamination is not the only time that this has happened.

If you have any comments or corrections please email me.
If you have an article or related story submit here.

By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM