Summer 2014 Norovirus outbreak connected to Oregon lake
At the time of the reported illnesses (July 11-13) an estimated 15,400 people visited the lake and park area. According to the investigation, there were 65 probable and five laboratory-confirmed norovirus infection cases. The investigation revealed people who swam at Blue Lake during those dates were more than twice as likely to contract norovirus as people who did not swim.
The park, which has a lake, paddleboats, a splash pad and picnic grounds, is a popular summer destination for city residents. During the weekend of the norovirus outbreak, more than 12,000 people visited the park.
Health officials closed the lake for 10 days to control the outbreak and prevent the illness from spreading further. Health professionals warn that this outbreak demonstrates the importance of proper guidance for reopening untreated recreational water venues that have a history of correlation with outbreaks. There also must be more efficient communication methods to tell the public about health risks involved in swimming in untreated recreational water areas.
Community leaders have continued to search for norovirus risk factors and improved virus-control measures.