Drinking Water Outbreaks


This site is founded as a collection point for information on outbreaks of infectious disease in drinking water, and related topics. Links to, or files with, information from the popular press, as well as primary source information will be included.

Readers should contact the webmaster, Professor Charles N. Haas by e-mail with comments, additional links, or ideas for expansion.

For the home page of Professor Haas, click here:

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Breaking Events

What is a Waterborne Outbreak?

Formal CDC definition

Statistical Summaries

United States

US, 1997-1998 (all waterborne outbreaks reported to CDC)

US, 1995-1996 (all waterborne outbreaks reported to CDC)

US, 1993-1994 (all waterborne outbreaks reported to CDC)

US, 1991-1992 (all waterborne outbreaks reported to CDC)

Giardiasis Surveillance --- United States, 1992--1997 (CDC) 

Compiled list of US outbreaks, 1976-1998


Causes of waterborne outbreaks in community water systems in Finland: 1980-1992, Water Science and Technology Vol 31 No 5-6 pp 33–36 (1995)

Furtado C, Adak GK, Stuart JM, Wall PG, Evans HS, Casemore DP. Outbreaks of waterborne infectious intestinal disease in England and Wales, 1992-5. Epidemiol Infect. 1998 Aug;121(1):109-19.

Large Outbreaks

    Carrollton, Georgia outbreak of Cryptosporidium (1987)

   Cabool, Missouri outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 (1989/90)

   Milwaukee oubreak of Cryptosporidium (1993)

   Toxoplasmosis outbreak (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (1995))

    Sydney, Australia "event" of "Cryptosporidium" (1998)

    Walkerton, Ontario, Canada, E. coli (2000)

Other Outbreaks

National and International Bulletins

World Health Organization

Weekly Epidemiological Record

Guidlines for Drinking Water Quality

North America

US: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR)

Canada Communicable Disease Report

Boletin Epidemiologico (Mexico, in Spanish)

Local US and Canadian Links


European Communicable Disease Bulletin

Communicable Disease Report (Great Britain)

Denmark: EPI-News (in English)

France: Bulletin Epidemiologique Hebdomadaire (in French)

Netherlands: Infectieziekten Bulletin (Dutch, with English abstracts)

UK (England and Wales): Communicable Disease Report

UK (England and Wales): Drinking Water Inspectorate Home Page

Germany: Epidemiologisches Bulletin (in German)

Italy: Il SIMInews Ź il bollettino del Sistema Informatizzato delle Malattie Infettive. (in Italian)

Spain: Boletín Epidemiológico Semanal (in Spanish)


Japan: Infectious Disease Surveillance Report (in English)

Australia/New Zealand

NSW Public Health Bulletin (Australia, New South Wales)

Cooperative Research Center on Water Quality and Treatment (Australia)

Communicable Diseases - Australia


Senegal: Bulletins Epidemiologiques (in French)

Central and South America


Non Governmental Links

PROMED: "The global electronic reporting system for outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases & toxins, open to all sources"

EMERGING INFECTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH IMPORTANCE. Electronic course notes at the University of Washington - School of Public Health and Community Medicine

England: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Cryptosporidium Information


Interesting Documents

Legislative Assembly of British Columbia (Canada): Second Report on Protecting Drinking Water Sources (April 18, 2000) 

Snow Mountain-Like Virus Identified in Young Children with Winter Vomiting Disease in South Africa, Journal of Diarrheal Diseases Research (1997)

Viral Agents of Gastroenteritis Public Health Importance and Outbreak Management MMWR 39(RR-5);1-24 Publication date: 04/27/1990

England & Wales: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Cryptosporidium in Water Supplies (Dr. Ian Bouchier, November 1998)

Cryptosporidium spp. - A Review of the Organism, the Disease, and Implications for Managing Water Resources,Barbara J. Butler and Colin I. Mayfield Dept. of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo Centre for Groundwater Research, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada (1996)

Lee, G. F. and Jones-Lee, A., "Public Health Significance of Waterborne Pathogens in Domestic Water Supplies and Reclaimed Water," Report to state of California Environmental Protection Agency Comparative Risk Project, Berkeley, CA, 27pp., December (1993).

On the Mode of Communication of Cholera, John Snow (1855)

(US) Central Intelligence Agency: "The Global Infectious Disease Threat and Its Implications for the United States", January 2000 report.

Search Engines and Data Bases

General Microbiological Links

Miscellaneous Media Links and Stories


Site Notes:

This is an ongoing project of Professor Charles N. Haas.

Links: Drexel University

School of Environmental Science, Engineering and Policy

There have been   hits to this page since August 8, 2000



This page does not necessarily reflect the official position of Drexel University. This site does not intend to provide medical, legal, or engineering advice.


All items on this site that are not otherwise copyrighted are © Drexel University, and may be used only by permission.

last changed on April 17, 2001