OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State health officials say they've identified the illness that's sickened dozens of people in the Okmulgee area, but still aren't sure where it originated.
Officials are blaming the illnesses on a parasite called cryptosporidiosis. It can cause diarrhea, weight loss, stomach cramps, pain, fever, nausea and vomiting. There are several ways to get the parasite, but many of the patients believed they got it from a water park in Okmulgee.
The pool voluntarily closed as a precaution, but will reopen on Saturday.
At least 86 people are believed to have contracted the illness in Okmulgee and surrounding areas in east-central Oklahoma in the past two weeks.
No common source of the illness has been identified.
It can be transmitted through contaminated drinking or recreational water, contaminated food, and contact with infected people or animals. The parasite is resistant to chlorine and can live for days in treated swimming pools.
Health officials are telling people to avoid swallowing pool water and shower before entering any swimming pool. Anyone who has been ill is asked to avoid swimming for two weeks afterward.
Watch the video: Okmulgee Illness Identified
7/24/2007 Family Sickened By Parasite Blames Water Park