Waterborne Illness Surveillance Statistics
Epidemiologists at the Minnesota Department of Health conduct surveillance and epidemiologic studies to track waterborne diseases and identify waterborne disease outbreaks in Minnesota.
Waterborne Illness Outbreaks
Drinking water outbreaks
From 2006 to 2015 there was one reported drinking water illness outbreak in Minnesota resulting in 6 known illnesses. The outbreak of giardiasis was associated with drinking well water at a campground.
Recreational water outbreaks
From 2006 to 2015 there were 42 reported recreational water illness outbreaks in Minnesota resulting in 691 known illnesses. The largest proportion (52%) of outbreaks were caused by Cryptosporidium. Other agents associated with outbreaks were: E. coli O157, Legionella, norovirus, Pseudomonas, and chemicals. Of these 42 waterborne outbreaks, the most common type of illness experienced was acute gastrointestinal illness, reported in 29 (69%) outbreaks, followed by dermatitis reported in 8 (19%) outbreaks, and acute respiratory illness reported in 5 (12%) outbreaks. Outbreaks occurred in a variety of settings; 25 occurred at swimming pools, 9 at lakes and rivers, 5 at spa pools, 2 at splash pads, and 1 at a swimming pond.
Other water outbreaks
From 2006 to 2015 there were three reported outbreaks in Minnesota associated with other types of water resulting in 10 known illnesses. Two were outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease; one outbreak was associated with exposure to a decorative water wall in a casino, and the other was associated with exposure to a drinking water distribution system in a restaurant. The third was an outbreak of giardiasis associated with drinking surface water along a hiking trail.
Charts, graphs, and maps
- Recreational Water Illness Outbreaks in Minnesota by County, 2006-2015 (PDF)
Map showing the location of reported recreational waterborne illness outbreaks in Minnesota by county.
- Recreational Water Illness Outbreaks in Minnesota by Illness Type, 2006-2015 (PDF)
Bar chart showing the number of recreational waterborne illness outbreaks by type of illness.
Control Newsletter Annual Summaries
Annual summaries of surveillance data for diseases and conditions reportable to the Minnesota Department of Health.
of Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Minnesota
Summary of gastroenteritis outbreaks in Minnesota that is published each year. Outbreaks summarized include those from food, water, animal contact, and person-to-person transmission.