WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Summer 2014 Norovirus outbreak connected to Oregon lake

Norovirus outbreak connected to natural lake in Oregon | Courtesy of worldatlas.com
Multnomah County public health professionals recently announced their investigation has shown last summer's norovirus outbreak in Oregon was connected to Blue Lake Regional Park, a natural park that is used by many people in the area.

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.

Organizations in this story

Multnomah County 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214

Blue Lake Regional Park 20500 Northeast Marine Drive Fairview, OR 97024

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