Four cases of stomach bug prompt investigation into Glenwood resort |

Four cases of stomach bug prompt investigation into Glenwood resort

Matthew Bennett
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
A construction worker paints lines on the steps on the closed Sopris Splash Zone at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool on Thursday afternoon.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

State and local public health departments are investigating four reported cases of the stomach bug cryptosporidiosis in four visitors to the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort’s Sopris Splash Zone on Aug. 18.

Garfield County Public Health confirmed the four cases and investigation.

A microscopic parasite, cryptosporidium — also known as crypto — causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidium remains one of the most common causes of recreational water illness in the U.S.

On Sept. 11, the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort received notification from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment of its issuance of a health advisory to public health agencies and health care providers regarding four cases of cryptosporidiosis.

“It has been determined that these four cases involved persons who had visited our children’s water attractions area, the Sopris Splash Zone, on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019 at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort,” John Bosco, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort vice president, said in a statement Thursday. “We immediately began assisting the Colorado Department of Health and the Garfield County Department of Health in their investigation, and are cooperating fully to ensure that the crypto leading to these cases has been fully eradicated.”

Bosco said employees were conducting “rigorous disinfectant protocol” to the Sopris Splash Zone and stated the area would remain closed until it was determined to be safe for public use.

The Sopris Splash Zone includes a children’s play area with mini water slides, interactive water features, shallow play areas and shade structures.

Bosco added that employees also would perform “rigorous disinfectant protocol” on the resort’s Shoshone Chutes Adventure River out of an abundance of caution.

Whether either attraction would reopen as planned this weekend remains in question.

The Glenwood Hot Springs Resort’s pool, however, remains open to visitors and is not part of the investigation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crypto spreads when someone swallows water contaminated with fecal matter containing the parasite.

Cryptosporidiosis has an average incubation period of seven days and symptoms, which generally last one to two weeks, include: watery diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss.

According to Garfield County Public Health, the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort had “taken all recommended mitigation measures” and went on to say that its “chlorine levels during the time of concern were within the appropriate regulatory range.”

“We are deeply sorry and apologize to any of our visitors who have had a negative experience related to our water play area. Glenwood Hot Springs Resort considers the safety of our guests to be top priority and uses state-of-the-art filtration and disinfection systems in this area with 24-7 monitoring,” Bosco stated. “All required systems appear to have been functioning properly and pool chemistry was within the state required levels at all times.”