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Info on Cryptosporidium and Milwaukee

James Mahaffy mahaffy at dordt.edu
Tue Feb 11 15:57:12 EST 1997


Although I have an interest in parasites, I am not a parasitologists.
However, I am lecturing on the protista in Zoology tomorrow or Friday
and would like a bit more information on the 1993 problem that Milwaukee
had with Cryptosporidium.  I remember that it really shocked the nation.
I did just a bit of background work and found that my fourth edition of
Roberts had it indexed to one page and I couldn't even find it on that
page.  In all fairness a trip to the library showed a nice to page
treatment of it in the latest edition of Roberts (nice work John Janovy,
who I think did most of the work on the new edition?).  While this gave
me more than enough on the critter's biology,  it didn't help on the
Milwaukee outbreak.  I found a web page where a water filtering company
said that 100 people (of population of 400,000) with AIDS died.  

Is this accurate? My vague recollection was that some of the deaths may
also have been in the elderly. 

Another tidbit that would be helpful would be the source of the oocytes.
My dim recollection was that the contaminating source to the water
supply was from Lake Michigan (?sewage feedback).  I am not going to
spend a lot of time on this but clarification on those two parts would
be helpful. 


James F. Mahaffy                   e-mail: mahaffy at dordt.edu
Biology Department                 phone: 712 722-6279
Dordt College                      FAX 712 722-1198
Sioux Center, Iowa 51250

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