9.20.2009

Roundworm Found at Oquirrh Lake

Oquirrh Lake was closed towards the end of last week after the Salt Lake Valley Health Department confirmed three cases of roundworm. Roundworm, or Ascariasis, is an infection of the intestines that is common throughout the world in both temperate and tropical areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor. It is one of the most common human parasitic infections. It is estimated that 1.4 billion people worldwide have ascariasis. According to the World Health Organization, ascariasis causes approximately 60,000 deaths annually worldwide.

People become infected with roundworm by playing in the sand or swimming in the water and swallowing the worm's eggs.
The eggs then pass into the intestines where they hatch into larvae and begin moving through the body. Once through your intestinal wall, the eggs reach your lungs by means of the bloodstream or lymphatic system

Symptoms range from abdominal pain, to passing worms, to cramps and constipation.

Fortunately, roundworm is easily treated with various medicines.

From KSL:

Kennecott Land spokeswoman Jana Kettering says they shut down the lake to swimming as a precaution while tests are being done to see if it can be confirmed the roundworm came from Oquirrh Lake. She says they are proactively notifying residents about what's happening and they want to take all precautions.

"The health department did advise us that no body of water in the state of Utah is tested for this type of organism, and so you take the risk whether you come to Oquirrh Lake, Lake Powell or Jordanelle," Kettering said.

As for the availability of restrooms, Kettering says there are portable bathrooms placed around the lake and there are plans to build permanent structures next year.

The swim portion of US Trisports' Daybreak Triathlon that was scheduled a couple days after the announcement had to be reworked because of the closure.

Hopefully, if the tests are positive for roundworm at Oquirrh Lake, there will be measures taken to remedy the problem. Maybe something good will come out of all of this and tests will be done at other lakes and reservoirs where we swim.

2 comments:

Gords said...

I heard about the roundworm test last week from a friend who did the tri. Scary!

I'd love to get my hands on one of those test for Bountiful Lake!

Josh said...

I was thinking the same thing! I wonder if there is someone you can contact to have them do water tests or if there are tests you can buy and do yourself. It would be nice to know (or maybe I don't want to know) what we're swimming in.