The parasite in the water at Seneca Lake State Park in the summer of 2005 is finally working its way through the New York Court of Claims.

spraypark-featured.jpgJudge Nicholas Midey reached an agreement with Rochester Attorney Paul Nunes and Assistant Attorney General Edward McArdle for mediation in the case to determine if a settlement can be reach before going to trial.

Nunes, along with the Albany law firm of Dreyer Boyajian and the Seattle law firm of Marler Clark, represents 2,200 people who were among at least 3,500 sickened that summer while playing in a spray, or water park, area of the state park.

McArdle, the assistant AG, represents the New York Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, which runs the Seneca Lake State Park.

Cryptosporidium, a tiny parasite spread by feces in the water, was active in the water park from June 1 to Aug. 17, 2005, when the area was closed.

No deadline has been set for mediation and as yet no talks have been scheduled.

The lawsuit was brought as a “class action,” with several categories of injuries ranging from being admitted to a hospital for multiple days to just being sick with minimal medical treatment.

The judge previously ordered the state to provide contact information for all 3,500 known to have gotten sick.   It’s not too late for the 1,300 who have not enlisted in the class action to do so, Nunes says.

Cryptosporidium is a common party-pooper at water parks and pools, especially those attracting diaper-age children.

Most of the people infected at the state park saw their first symptoms of cryptosporidium appear in two to seven days.   The signs that you’ve encountered the parasite include: watery diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting.

People sick with “crypto” can experience the symptoms for two weeks.  Symptoms may come and go for a month even in people with healthy immune systems.

Some people can get infected with cryptosporidium and experience none of the symptoms.