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Lodge pool closes after report of illness

BAXTER — The pool at the Lodge at Brainerd Lakes was closed Monday night after a person with a confirmed case of cryptosporidiosis, a water-borne intestinal disease, was linked to the Baxter motel pool, a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) epidemiologist said.

Trisha Robinson, an MDH epidemiologist, said an ongoing investigation by the department is looking at two other reports of diarrheal illnesses consistent with cryptosporidiosis. She said cryptosporidiosis is a profuse, watery diarrhea accompanied by vomiting and stomach cramps and a low grade fever. She said the Lodge has worked with the department’s environmental health officials and has raised and maintained the chlorine level to a very high level. After the chlorine is kept at a high level for a certain number of hours it is then brought back down to a safe operating level, she said.

Mark Zovic, general manager at the Lodge said Wednesday night the process had been followed and the pool had almost returned to a normal chlorine level. Plans called for the pool to reopen at 9 a.m. Thursday (March 29), he said.

Robinson said a pool can develop problems if a person with cryptosporidiosis swims in the pool. She said one to two weeks can pass between the time when a person is exposed to the parasite until the symptoms become apparent.

Zovic said the health department tested the pool about 10 days ago and no problems were found.

“It’s unfortunately one of those things,” he said. “We followed all the procedures.”

Robinson said the most important message is that if people are sick or have been sick with diarrhea in the past two weeks they should stay out of public pools.

The Associated Press reported the health department has also linked the parasitic disease to a Duluth water park. The problem has been linked to the Edgewater Resort and Water Park. The resort’s owners voluntarily closed the operation and disinfected the park before opening again.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or He may be followed on Twitter at

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860