North Central Health District


Houston County Cryptosporidium Survey


Houston County Environmental Health and North Central Health District Epidemiologists are investigating cases of Cryptosporidium linked to Rigby’s Water World in Warner Robins.

As of August 16, we are collecting information from anyone who visited the water park from July 6 to August 5, regardless of whether or not they have experienced symptoms of Crypto.

Has the Health Department been notified?

Rigby’s Water World contacted the health department August 8, notifying us of a positive Cryptosporidium test. We have also received positive test results from physicians and healthcare providers in the Houston County area.


Has the Health Department done testing to ensure the safety of the water?

Cryptosporidium (Crypto) can survive for days in water at normal levels of chlorination. To remove the parasite, Rigby’s Water Park hyperchlorinated each water feature per the CDC’s recommendations and maintained a high level (20 parts per million). Houston County Health Department staff were present to witness several of the tests that were performed by the park’s Certified Pool Operator and were able to confirm the testing was properly performed. The Health Department assisted with the chlorination procedures to ensure the parasite was inactivated following CDC guidelines. Houston County Health Department Environmental Health staff visited the water park on August 9 and 10 to ensure the chlorine level of the water was safe for swimmers.


Was the water tested for Crypto?

No. Hyperchlorination was performed as a precautionary measure before Rigby’s was associated as a common exposure. Also, it is not recommended to test pool water for Cryptosporidium after hyperchlorination is completed. Although hyperchlorination destroys Crypto’s infectivity, it does not necessarily destroy the structure of the parasite or its DNA.


Is it safe to visit Rigby’s Water World?

Based on the actions taken by the water park to remove Crypto from its water features, it is safe to visit the water park.


What is the Health Department doing now?

We ask anyone that visited the water park between July 6 and August 5 to complete the survey as part of our epidemiological investigation. Please provide as many details as possible along with your best method of contact so Health Department staff can follow-up as needed.


What is Crypto?

Cryptosporidium, or Crypto, is a parasite that can be found in water, food, soil or on surfaces or dirty hands that have been contaminated with the feces of infected humans or animals infected. Once it enters a person’s body, they may begin to exhibit gastrointestinal discomfort. The parasite is the leading cause of waterborne illness among people in the U.S.


What are the symptoms of Crypto?

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain/cramps
  • Fever

Symptoms appear between 2 and 10 days after becoming infected with Crypto. Symptoms can last from 1 to 2 weeks.


How is Crypto spread?

  • Swallowing water contaminated with Crypto. This includes water from swimming pools, fountains, lakes, rivers or any other untreated water source. Crypto can survive for long periods of time in chlorinated drinking or swimming pool water.
  • Eating under-cooked food or drinking raw apple cider or milk contaminated with Crypto.
  • Consuming or drinking anything that has been contaminated with feces of infected people or animals.
  • Touching your mouth while your hands are contaminated.


What can I do to prevent spreading Crypto?

  • Do not enter a swimming pool if you feel ill and have diarrhea. Do not allow children with diarrhea to enter a pool.
  • Do not swallow any water in swimming pools, lakes, or any other source that may be contaminated.
  • If swimming in a pool with children, make sure they take bathroom breaks every hour. If swimming with infants, check diapers every 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Practice proper hand-washing: Wet hand with running water. Apply soap and scrub all surfaces for at least 20 seconds. Rinse hands with running water and dry with a clean towel or air dryer. Note: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers will not effectively kill Crypto! Remember to wash hands:
    • before preparing, handling or eating food
    • after using the toilet
    • after changing diapers
    • before and after caring for someone who is ill
    • after interacting with an animal or animal waste