SUMMARY In September 2010, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis affected members of a swimming club. A cohort study was undertaken to identify the number affected and risk factors for infection. Of 101 respondents, 48 met the case definition for probable cryptosporidiosis. Multivariate analysis demonstrated a strong and highly significant association between illness and attendance at a training session on 13 September 2010 (adjusted odds ratio 28, P < 0·0001). No faecal incidents were reported and pool monitoring parameters were satisfactory. The competitive nature of club swimming requires frequent training and participation in galas, potentially facilitating contamination into other pools and amplification of outbreaks among wider groups of swimmers. There was a lack of awareness of the 2-week exclusion rule among swimmers and coaches, and a high level of underreporting of illness. The study demonstrates the benefits of rapid field epidemiology in identifying the true burden of illness, the source of infection and limiting spread.
- Swimming club