SMI's tests indicate that the cases of stomach illness, in all likelihood, are due to the parasite Cryptosporidium. SMI is currently analyzing additional samples for a definitive assessment, which is preliminary to be presented by Wednesday or Thursday.
- We have identified the parasite Cryptosporidium in the primary water of Östersund´s water purification plant as well as in the purified water, Anette Hansen, SMI Microbiologist, say.
The work is now focused on finding the primary source of the parasite. VAKA, a Swedish network of experts in extraordinary water-related events, has joined the municipality as support.
- We are actively looking for the source of infection and continue sampling. We also check the water cleaning process for flaws in our own systems, but we have not found anything. In doing this, we have also received support from experts of the VAKA network, says Rickard Johnson, Head of Water systems, at the City of Östersund.
Jari Hiltula is Head of the Environmental Health Unit at the City of Östersund. He emphasizes the importance of citizens continuing to boil the water.
- Now we have found the haystack and can focus on looking for the needle. All effort is now being placed on finding the source of contamination, but until the parasite is gone, the water must be boiled. This is very important, "says Jari Hiltula.
City Executive Officer, Bengt Marsh:
- This is a serious incident, but I would not call it a crisis. We actually have access to water, says Bengt Marsh, City Manager, MunicipalityofÖstersund.
There is presently no great influx of patients at the ÖstersundHospital.
- We are happy that the source is found. We can now start working forward, says Michael Widerström, infectious disease physician at ÖstersundHospital. Medical-wise, this is no great event. All-in-all, a dozen patients have been admitted to the hospital. On the other hand there is a rather great number of phone-callers, declaring symptoms. In recent days 160 people have called, most of them calling from within Östersund´s city limits.
The city´s website www.ostersund.se is continually updated with information and FAQ´s on water usage and the parasite Cryptosporidium. Until further notice, the city´s recommendation is to boil water before using it.
For more information:
Jörgen Vikström, Press Information Officer, MunicipalityofÖstersund:070-204 88 28
Sylvia Nord, Press Information Officer, MunicipalityofÖstersund:073-275 54 75
Mary Omberg, Head of Infection Prevention, Östersund Hospital,063-143 03
Marika Hjertqvist, Epidemiologist, SMI:08-457 23 97
Margareta Löfdahl, Epidemiologist, SMI:08-457 23 87
Officer on duty, SMI (after4.30PM):08-457 24 00
Press release as PDF (pdf, 132.5 kB)