Korean J Parasitol.  2013 Aug;51(4):461-466. 10.3347/kjp.2013.51.4.461.

A Waterborne Outbreak and Detection of Cryptosporidium Oocysts in Drinking Water of an Older High-Rise Apartment Complex in Seoul

Affiliations
  • 1Seoul Waterworks Research Institute, Seoul 716-010, Korea. ejsea@seoul.go.kr

Abstract

From May to June 2012, a waterborne outbreak of 124 cases of cryptosporidiosis occurred in the plumbing systems of an older high-rise apartment complex in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The residents of this apartment complex had symptoms of watery diarrhea and vomiting. Tap water samples in the apartment complex and its adjacent buildings were collected and tested for 57 parameters under the Korean Drinking Water Standards and for additional 11 microbiological parameters. The microbiological parameters included total colony counts, Clostridium perfringens, Enterococcus, fecal streptococcus, Salmonella, Shigella, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Cryptosporidium oocysts, Giardia cysts, total culturable viruses, and Norovirus. While the tap water samples of the adjacent buildings complied with the Korean Drinking Water Standards for all parameters, fecal bacteria and Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in the tap water samples of the outbreak apartment complex. It turned out that the agent of the disease was Cryptosporidium parvum. The drinking water was polluted with sewage from a septic tank in the apartment complex. To remove C. parvum oocysts, we conducted physical processes of cleaning the water storage tanks, flushing the indoor pipes, and replacing old pipes with new ones. Finally we restored the clean drinking water to the apartment complex after identification of no oocysts.

Keyword

Cryptosporidium parvum; oocyst; cryptosporidiosis; drinking water supply; plumbing system
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