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Cryptosporidium in Baker City

August 20, 2013

The Baker City Public Works Department and the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division are lifting a boil water advisory in Baker City. Two consecutive water samples tested negative for the microscopic parasite cryptosporidium. The boil advisory was issued July 31 to protect public health. An ongoing water monitoring plan is in place for Baker City’s drinking water.

    Health officials still recommend individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those receiving cancer treatment or people with HIV, as well as infants and the elderly, seek the advice of their health care professional before drinking the tap water.
    Baker City water customers are encouraged to do the following:
  • Run each faucet in the home or business for three minutes to clear the plumbing of any old water.
  • Drain water heaters and refill before using.
  • Water filters approved for cryptosporidium removal should be operated and replaced per manufacturer’s recommendations.  Replace all filters not designed to remove cryptosporidium.
  • Run ice makers for three batches, dump ice, wash, rinse and sanitize ice bins.
    Additional Information
  • More information is available at or 
  • Call 541-523-6541 with questions.

Symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis, the disease caused by cryptosporidium exposure, is watery diarrhea. Symptoms include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps or pain​
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Symptoms usually appear within 1–12 days after exposure. The illness usually goes away by itself, but symptoms can persist for several weeks in otherwise healthy people and even longer in persons with compromised immune systems. Symptoms can be intermittent, meaning that people may get better and then relapse. Persons with persistent symptoms should consult their regular physician for advice.

CDC Recommendations
Healthy swimming
  • Do not swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
  • Do not swallow pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
  • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
  • Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Waiting to hear "I have to go" may mean that it's too late.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside. Germs can be spread in and around the pool.
  • Wash your children thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before they go swimming. Invisible amounts of fecal matter can end up in the pool.
Hand washing

1. Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.

2. Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.

3. Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” twice through to a friend!

4. Rinse hands well under running water.

5. Dry your hands using a disposable paper towel or air dryer.

6. Use your disposable paper towel, if possible, to turn off the faucet.

For more information on cryptosporidium: