By Lance Mihm
Laboratory results released Friday confirmed the municipal pool in New Bremen contained cryptosporidiosis, a water-borne parasite that sickened a few residents and caused officials to close the pool earlier this week.
New Bremen Village Administrator Larry Durkee said Superior Lab, Columbus, returned a positive result at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. The Auglaize County Health Department gave the pool a clean bill of health at about 1 p.m. Friday, and Durkee plans to reopen the pool at noon today.
"We will run another precautionary test on Monday," he added.
The New Bremen pool, along with the Minster municipal pool and the pool at the YMCA between the two villages, were closed down this week after the health department received several calls about people reporting diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and nausea. Test results from the other two pools were not available as of Friday.
Two Auglaize County residents and two Mercer County residents who had been in the New Bremen area have tested positive for the parasite, health department officials said. One Auglaize County resident was hospitalized, but health department officials could not confirm if the person was still in the hospital today. After receiving the calls about the sick people and suspecting the parasite, health department officials immediately closed the pools because the parasite spreads quickly in water and cannot be killed by normal levels of chlorine.
The parasite spawns in soil and is spread to farm and other animals. People contact it from animals and then the infection is often spread person to person in swimming pool water. The infection is non-fatal and often causes sickness for seven to 10 days.
A method called super-chlorination was used to clean the pools and rid them of the parasite.
Health department officials said that people should always wash hands before entering the pool. Anyone who has had diarrhea should stay out of the pool for at least two weeks after the symptoms have subsided.