Spartan RD Releases Statement About Illinois “Outbreak”




We reached out to Spartan Race to find out what happened July 20th an 21st at the Illinois Super Spartan.  We had heard complaints about poison ivy and/or “swimmer’s itch” from several participants. The race took place at the The Cliffs Insane Terrain Park, in Marseilles, IL.

We were directed to Mike Morris, who is currently the VP of Production and Race Director over at Spartan.

Here is what he told us:

“It’s still unclear as to how many people came away from our IL Super Spartan with the rash that some of our racers have developed. My gut tells me it’s less than 5% of those that raced only because if it was more, our customer service team would have certainly let us know. It’s also still unclear if the majority of the cases are Poison Ivy, Swimmers Itch, or Chiggers (the three common diagnosis’ we are hearing about).”

“What IS clear is that it sucks for those that are dealing with it. I think every racer understands the inherent risk of crawling through mud, swimming through swamp, and running through the woods but we still never want to see our racers leave the event and have the event stay with them like this!”

“I personally want our customers to know that we are listening and, just like any feedback we receive, we care. For what it’s worth, whenever I saw any Poison Ivy on the course (I’m super allergic) I made every effort in routing the course around any patches instead of through them. Also, we are doing our homework on Swimmers Itch and although we still have much to learn about it, it’s on our radar. After talking to some health professionals it’s still unclear if you can even test bodies of water for it. (Again, still learning…)”

“I’ve been bitten by crazy bugs at races and suffered post-event poison ivy in a major way so I appreciate what these racers are going through.”

ORM has seen various posts from participants on social media in the days that followed the race.  There has even been a Facebook group created called Spartan Rash which is demanding refunds for those afflicted.

We would love to hear from you on this topic. Is this Spartan’s responsibility or should people running in the woods just expect that things like this may happen?

Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.
  1. It is the woods, poison ivy is there. I have seen it at just about every event I have done. Keep your eyes open, if you see it go around it. As for the swimmer’s itch, try washing off well after you finish. If you know you have a couple hours ride home, bring soap with you and wash up. Most of these things can be either avoided or the chance of an issue can be greatly reduced.

    1. My gut tells me it’s less than 5% of those in the facebook group demanding refunds. Nearly everyone is there simply to share information; that’s why I’m there. I know a lot of you probably have experience with unexplained, red blisters on your nutsack and groin area, but it’s a new, slightly concerning thing for me.

    2. This rash is NOT due to poison ivy. Poison ivy only affects the areas touched by the plant. Many of the affected runners are covered with the rash from arms to stomach to legs. They would have had to wade through bushes of poison ivy to get that reaction. As for swimmer’s itch, the rash from that starts within hours of contact and usually is gone within a week. The Spartan rash often started days after the race and spread, day by day, to other parts of the body. Chiggers wash off in a good shower, which every racer took within hours of completing the race. When they bite and produce a rash, the rash doesn’t spread over a matter of days like the Spartan rash spread. The best bet is that the dirt from which the mud area was constructed contained parasites or chemical wastes — fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides — that caused this reaction. Hard to find any other explanation for a rash that lasts three weeks.

      1. I agree, Mary. My friend continued to have fresh outbreaks of this rash as recently as Friday, although now things seem to be healing and subsiding.

        1. I still have remnants of this rash weeks after the fact. It’s not really reminiscent of any rashes I’ve ever had and I grew up running around in the woods and rivers in Ottawa which is right next door. Mine was obvious very shortly after the race was over, I showered and did everything to clean up.

      2. Mary, the Spartan rash was poison Ivy. I know because I got it from the race and had it before. You are wrong when you say it only affect the area where the plant touches. The cause of a poison ivy rash is the oil that the plant produces. So once that oil gets on your skin it covers your skin only comes off with soap and water not just water. In fact water will help it spread. So if you got some poison ivy on your shirt and then got it wet and then crawled on your stomach you might get a rash all over your chest and stomach, like I did. I think that is price you pay to play the game.

      3. I agree. My doctor told me it was not poison ivy! He couldn’t quite make out what it was. Gave me an RX cream which slowly helped. Mine took a solid month before any relief!!! My rash came from the Warrior Dash on Aug 3, 2013 New Jersey! Was so ridiculously nasty!! Never ever again!! Was my 1st and last mud run!

  2. Ran the Midwest Super and got the rash…it’s part of the risk we choose in running through the woods and going through the same mud and water as hundreds of other bodies.

    1. I’m actually quite shocked in reading that people have started a facebook page in an attempt to demand a refund for the Midwest Super Spartan. It is common sense to assume that, when racing in forested areas and through water/mud, there is an inherent risk of contracting poison ivy, swimmer’s itch, or any other sort of syndrome that one would encounter while out in the woods. Do I feel that the cause should be investigated and diagnosed properly so as to avoid future problems? Absolutely – and this is not only the responsibility of the Race but also that of the property owners at which the Race was held.

      When you sign up for any race, you accept the conditions that come along with it, be that road race, triathlon, or OCR. It upsets me that people are so quick to point the blame at Spartan for this unfortunate circumstance – I, too, was affected by poison ivy, but I’m certainly not blaming the race or its directors for contracting it. It was my choice to do the race and therefore my choice to accept whatever consequences stem from doing the race. It’s not as if we were intentionally forced to come into contact with whatever it was we all encountered. This was not a malicious attack and, as such, it’s completely asinine to start finger-pointing – – – these people sign up for a race that is inherently dangerous: barbed wire, wall climbs, bad footing, fire, etc…yet demand a refund for poison ivy or swimmer’s itch? I’m ashamed to be associated with these people who think they can call themselves Spartans. This world has become a place of complacency and there is a major failure in self-reliance and accountability with people today. Everyone is so quick to find a scapegoat or throw someone under the bus to better themselves. I, for one, will take my poison ivy and deal with it. And I will sign up for many more Spartan races because they hold wonderful venues and have an ideal that I strive to emulate.

      People need to stop with this sense of entitlement, grow up, and start behaving like decent human beings. It is selfish acts like this that is what is wrong with this world.

      1. I will add, however, that from my observations, more than 5% of the racing population was affected by whatever this skin condition is. It’s just that most of us haven’t spoken up about it because we know it’s just part of racing.

        1. Yep you got it !! There were way more than 5 percent of us & I also believe that those of us that got it knew there was a risk. Thats why Spartan isn’t hearing all kinds of crap from people. Should they test the water yep ! Should they have to give refunds nope.

          1. yeah way more got this than are complaining about it. i bet 500+ got it. havent slept in about 2 weeks. it stinks. don’t complain to us who have it if you have never had it. do you really think that everyone who got it, officially called or emailed in to SR headquarters to complain? who has time fro that we are busy applying creams, taking prednisone, fighting the urge to itch, taking cold baths, some missing work (work at medical or public facilities and told to stay home) spending money on doctor appointments and followups and loitions and crap and just wasting time scratching ourselves or seeing where all else this dang thing is spreading on our bodies.

          2. Amen. Everyone got it, I’dsay 95% of the people.. Just not everyone is a complainer.

      2. I personally believe that the number affected is extremely higher than 5% and that it is much more than a rash caused by poison ivy. I have now been to the doctor three times and have filled six different prescriptions, as have my three other teammates. The next step according to my doctor will be biopsies. This is much more than I signed up for and I have no doubt will hae a major effect upon the registration for next years race. While we were only four, I am sure there are many more that will not choose to participate in a race that one catches ???? that is still wreaking havoc 14 days later, has cost hundreds of dollars and still counting, not to mention the pain/suffering (pure misery).

        So if someone out there has been to the doctor and whatever was prescribed has worked, please let the powers that be (or not be as I don’t think they have handled this very well), so they can notify all race participants.

        I would also add that my family members and my team members family/spouses did not sign up for this race and yet they too are not being affected by this “skin condition” as it is contagious and passes to others through intimate contact, bed sheets, etc. . . . .

        They should indeed test the water and perhaps require a medical physical from all participants. I would hope that anyone who has a medical condition/disease that is transmittable to others would not participate.

        1. I have been reading this with much interest. For what it is worth, I live in Kentucky and have been suffering for six weeks now with what sounds identical to the symptoms everyone is describing. I have been to four different doctors, have had two rounds of steroids, taken allergy medicine and used various ointments and creams. Nothing has worked and the relief has been minimal. Right now I am awaiting results from bloodwork and a biopsy. The rash is only on my upper arms, thighs and stomach….it isn’t poison oak or ivy as I have had that too many times to count. Would love to have a diagnosis before I scratch myself to death!!!! Everyone has my sympathy,

      3. Spartan can keep their money. Most people aren’t asking for it back. It is a lot more than 5 % that was affected and it wasn’t running through the wood. The rash or whatever this is started under our clothes and in the middle part of our bodies. Spartan Race organizers were giving sarcastic remarks on facebook and were not offering any help to what it is that we caught. Most likely we got contaminated in the mud pits. I know what I signed up for and it wasn’t this. They should have tested the water and mud pits.

        1. Why would they start randomly testing the mud pits. This has NEVER been an issue before in we’ll over 100 spartan races…..this is not negligence on their part at all. I have faith in Spartan that they will be helpful and figure this out. The childish “we are going to sue, go to the media, etc? That’s ridiculous. Spartan is working on this. If the answers were sooooo easy to find wouldn’t your doctor already have it? Yea, that’s what I thought.

          1. I agree that suing is not the answer, not very many people have been saying that. Unless you have this rash you don’t understand. Maybe you have it and it not the bad for you. This has been awful and most of the people that have been infected are people who do a lot of extreme races. They can take pain and even poison ivy. This is different. Spartan race corporation took over a week to respond and before they did take it serious they were sarcastic and making inappropriate comments on facebook post. Doctors have been all over the board with what we have, and you would think the Spartan Race Organizers would try to get to the bottom of the situation right away instead of waiting so long. Any respectable company would. Maybe the, but they didn’t go public with any info or statement. Just own up to the situation.

        2. I don’t have the rash from this event however I got one that seems absolutely spot on with what you are all going through. So I completely understand the level of pain and discomfort. It took 6 months to clear up with using topical and oral steroids. I had it from the top of my feet to my collarbone at its worst, about 75% covered. So I get it. I do. You are a man so you aren’t in the Spartan Chicked group. The rallying to sue SR got so bad that I have left the group. I refuse to be a part of that. I support you all with Spartan coming out and saying something, I really do. Shit like this happens though. It sucks. I got it at a 4 star resort. Now THAT is a place I should never have gotten it from.

  3. It is a risk you take when you want to run in an event like this. I have ran in several spartan races and will continue to do so. What everyone needs to keep in mind you did sign a waiver before you ran. Just spartan the f up.

  4. When people sign up and sign the “Death” waiver, they should expect to come in contact with something that may bite them, have them itching, and having them wonder why they do it. We are obstacle course racers, not road racers, and we crave running through the woods getting muddy. It happens to every OCR, a minority get sick and, although important, is not worthy or refund. I got it and had it for a week. It was terrible and I wondered what I got into for it to be so bad but the furthest thing from my mind was to want my money back. If anything, I was proud of it like a battle wound.

    1. I agree– Death Waver should sum it up. I did have the rash for 3 weeks and I am sure it was poison oak. It is climbing up most trees in the woods and I grabbed it to give me a pull up the slope.
      My Nurse in the family told me to add steroids to the antihistamines (OTC Benadryl and Claritin) so a call to my family Dr., and I was soon getting better. Anyone who is out in the woods should expect to get exposed to this, so quit complaining and learn how to survive in the woods before you go in to it !

  5. Hi,

    I started the group after trying to share this incident with the Spartan leadership. I was thanked for sharing the 6 people that I knew were having trouble with this rash. The person who responded said he ran the race and didn’t get anything. There were no questions about our condition or about where we think we caught the rash. The response was more of a brush off. So, I started this group to see if there were more than 10/20 people that were having trouble. In the first 3 hours of the group going “live,” 70 people joined in with stories of missing work, horrid rashes, oozing blisters, crusty red sores, vomiting, diarrhea and more.

    The mission statement in the group demands nothing; to address the article’s comment of us demanding refunds. There are those that think a refund is fair but the spirit of the group is to share what’s happening, try to figure out what this mystery rash actually is (it’s looking like a combo of nasty things), and to ask the Spartan what they do to mitigate harmful pathogens and poisons for the thousands of people that they are profiting from? While that may sound harsh, it’s at the heart of responsibility. We all knew we could break a bone, fracture an ankle and even fall off of a wall and.. well, die. We were not aware that parasites and pathogens would play a part. Mike Morris says ” I think every racer understands the inherent risk of crawling through mud, swimming through swamp, and running through the woods..” I contest, we are aware there can be poisonous plants and that it’s really slippery.. so be careful. Harmful pathogens and parasites, I can assure you, were NOT on people’s minds. None of us are environmental scientists (well maybe one or two :), this wasn’t par for the course and if Mike was aware that it is, then it needs to be stated more clearly and even more importantly, mitigated. WE ARE SPARTANS.. WE LOVE A CHALLENGE.. but we also like keeping our bodies healthy so we can do more of these races…pathogen and parasite free.

    1. Tiffany-while some are just wanting answers, there are just as many who are demanding refunds, threatening to sue and calling out for the medias attention. If the answer was simple to find wouldn’t everyone’s doctor already have it for them? I’ve been around Spartan for a minute and have found they are helpful and respectful. I do believe they are going to deal with this and figure out what the hell happened and will take the proper steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
      I understand the pain and misery you are all going through physically. I contracted something that was NEVER able to be figured out, it took 6 months to clear with rounds of oral and topical steroids. I got it at a 4 star resort. The difference is I didn’t threaten to sue, involve media or behave like a child. I informed them of what happened, they took action to sterilize the pool and villa I was in, that was that. I never blamed them or was hostile and I was in the same boat as you and the others. Nobody wants to go through this but the people who are threatening lawyer involvement should be ashamed of themselves.

  6. Cry babies. It’s an OUTDOOR event. There are things that are out of the control of any race director and course designer no matter how careful and attentive they are.

    Do campers and hikers complain to state and national parks staff for having to deal with bugs and animals in the OUTDOORS?

    Seriously, take precautions like a previous commentator suggested. That’s all you can do when you are in the great OUTDOORS!

      1. Ridiculous. I’m not crying about anything…. I’m just looking for information about what this rash is and how to get rid of it.

        Yes, I signed the waiver. Yes, I consider myself tough. No, I don’t expect a refund. I could have just as easily gotten swimmer’s itch from a public lake (which I’ve already had this year) or poison ivy from a National Park. Neither of which would make me want to get some kind of refund.

        I’m not holding anyone at fault (Reebok, Spartan, Dirt Runner, etc…) It’s the outdoors, and sh!t happens. I get it. I’ve done other OCRs in the past, and I plan on doing more in the future. Hell, I considered myself lucky I didn’t sign up for the Michigan-TM earlier this summer where they had the ecoli outbreak.

        The ONLY thing I’m interested in getting out of this group and the recent frenzy over it is a solution for relieving the rash. Once that’s cleared up I’m back to trying to improve my fitness and looking forward to getting muddy again.

        Calling people “cry babies” or “whiners” is just looking for a disagreement. If you’re not interested, or this doesn’t effect you, you’re more than welcome to shove off and find something else to do with your time. Hopefully we all get back to the great outdoors and the next time we cross paths it’s not you with a similar condition.

  7. I, too, ran the Midwest Super Spartan on July 21 and 5 days later broke out with major case of why my dermatologist said was poison ivy. I’ve never had it before and it is NOT fun. HOWEVER, I agree with the fact that we take certain risks doing what we do. I also applaud the races that have postponed their events until more investigation can be done. Yes, we sign waivers, but that is cover the ‘unknown’. If there is a known problem out there, every effort to identify and remove the problem should be taken. Will this prevent me from doing another Spartan Race, HELL NO!

  8. I agree, this is a risk we take when we do these races. I just want to know what it is so it can be treated appropriately because treatments for one thing can actually make another ailment worse. Other than that…. I feel it would help ALL OCRs to know what this is, how it happened and to avoid it in the future and IMPROVE our sport. As an individual, I feel the recourse you have is to make a decision to participate or not. It sucks, I didn’t get it as bad as others and some spots are still showing up 12 days later. I love this sport and I want to see it improve, this is a defining moment for the sport to embrace the opportunity to shine in the face of adversity and STFU and do things to reassure their customers that they are doing things to avoid this in the future. After all….aren’t we told “no man left behind?”

  9. It’s pathetic that people are whining about getting a rash or an itch. This is OCR. You’re going to get hurt. You signed a waiver. Wake up and stop being such babies.

    I’ve had on-going issues with wrist, knee and back problems the whole time I’ve done OCR, but it would never occur to me to whinge and whine like a child because of something I willingly put myself through.

    I guess some people are cut out for doing OCR and others are just….. weaker.

  10. I GOT IT!! Raced both days in the elite heat- Whatever! This is the first rash I have gotten in 2 years running these things and suprised thats all I have gotten. Yea it Sucks, but put some steriod cream on it and move on. Can’t wait to race this weekend in Washington State! If your going to play in the woods, then crap can happen, just embrace the suck and become a bad ass! No whiners respond please!

  11. Going on about how we all ‘accepted the risk’ is missing the point. They don’t need to clear all 10 miles of trail of any plants – that’s not where we picked it up. People got the rash from crawling and rolling through the barbed-wire, which is also why it is hitting people across their entire bodies. All SR needs to do is look at how they plan out the obstacles, and add a note not to have a crawling obstacle go through an area with plants in it. That’s all. I’d like to keep doing these races as well as everyone else, just want them to have learned from this incident so that it can be avoided in the future.

  12. The waivers clearly state the risks inherent to the race, so I don’t see any refunds coming. Also when you sign up, you are guaranteed NO REFUNDS. There may be some medical insurance claim, to help with medical costs, since each racer pays for one day insurance. I do believe that Superhero Scramble was smart to postpone their race at the same venue, until things could be sorted out. I personally am also highly allergic to poison ivy, and would not want to race at a venue that was known for large amounts of it. Otherwise, I steer clear when out on the course.

  13. We might have a plethora of dangerous creatures in Australia – snakes, spiders, box jellyfish, blue ring octopussies, drop bears – but at least we don’t have no poison ivy to deal with!

  14. While I completely empathize how uncomfortable it can be to have a rash, especially from unknown sources…..they signed up for this OCR knowing that its possible to get poison ivy, chigger bites and any other unknown that may happen. While I think it’s important for SR to ensure people aren’t getting rashes from infected waters-they are NOT responsible for giving these people full refunds. SR is a very professional group of people and I have every bit of confidence that they will look into it and prevent any issues to the highest of abilities for the future.

    I’m embarrassed for the people that are being so childish and rude. The malice I’ve seen from so many in the Spartan Rash group is appalling. They haven’t allowed spartan race to deal with this before setting up a very hateful group.

    1. Are we looking at the same group? I’m not seeing any threats or blame at the Spartan Rash group… just a bunch of people looking for answers. In fact, the most vitriolic stuff I’ve seen has been at the Spartan Race FB page.

      From my own perspective, I’m assuming this is my punishment for not doing all the burpees I was supposed to. :p

      1. That’s what it was! You skip the burpees, you get the rash! Just kidding.
        The stuff I witnessed in that group may have been removed. It definitely wasn’t nice.
        I feel awful for what you’re going through, I really do, but some people are being insane.

          1. Sorry to pop your conspiracy theory bubble, LongBallJones, I am in no way affiliated with SR, not even on the street team. I just run them. Nice try though 🙂 how are the itchy longballs? Hah.

  15. To be clear, Superhero Scramble was NOT postponed due to concerns over the “rash” (warrior, tough mudder go through the same “rash issues” google it) Superhero is postponed because they DID NOT get their required event permit into the city in time.

  16. Not crying, and not wanting my money back. I just want to know what it is so it can be treated. I’ve been miserable for 9 days now. Miserable. Nothing seems to work either in controlling it and stopping the itch and rash from spreading. I’ve been to a doctor who said she had no idea what it was! Steroids didn’t touch it. Benadryl, hydrocortizone, poison ivy cremes…nothing works. Off to see a dermatologist in an hours. This has certainly affected my day to day life and it sucks. Trust me.

  17. I get that poison ivy is a risk, but here’s the fact that bothers me: it started in my groin region. I was wearing compression shorts under my shorts, so it’s impossible that my skin directly contacted the leaves. Likely it was in something liquid. If there was poison ivy in the mud itself, then that tells me that the site wasn’t properly prepped.

    Meanwhile, it’s been almost 2 weeks and the damn stuff is continuing to spread.

    1. Yes, mine too started in areas that were protected/covered and this is not Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, while I do have spots of that on my arms (a risk that I was aware of and a condition that would be expected). What I have is not the norm, was not caused by plants, and as you indicate after two weeks is still continuing to spread, not only on my but now the family members I live with!.

      Please someone just find something that works. Otherwise a week from tomorrow, if my condition has not improved/cured, I will be undergoing biopsies and will definitely post the findings for all.

      1. Shane, if you get biopsies done, please post the results. My SO was still getting fresh outbreaks as of Friday, although his have not been contagious to me.

        1. Maybe it’s scabies or something similar? I’m not a doctor, but a glance at the wikipedia page suggests the symptoms match pretty well:

          – Initial onset can be a few weeks, but much sooner for people who have been previously exposed.
          – Outbreaks can last several weeks.
          – Can be transmitted to others through prolonged skin or clothing contact.
          – It’s considered a ‘water-related disease’ though I’m not sure of the particular implication here.
          – Usually starts as several spots; may progress so that each spot becomes a line of spots as the mite burrows and eventually to more widespread rashes
          – Rashes typically occur where there are folds of skin – pelvic region, elbows, hands, sides of the feet, armpits, stomach, etc.

          – Typical treatments include topical permethrin (Nix) (Note: This is a neurotoxin! It’s fairly safe for humans but very bad for cats & fish, apparently). Alternatively, topical Crotamiton or oral Ivermectin may be prescribed.
          – Note that even following successful treatment, the rash may persist for some time as it takes a while for the induced allergic reaction & irritation to subside, even though the bugs are dead.

          Again, I’m not a doctor – just thought this info might be helpful and something to bring up with your actual doctors 🙂
          Hope this stuff gets cleared up soon!

  18. So now that you know that you’ll probably get
    some unknown long lasting rash or parasite etc….why on earth would you ever sign up for this race? It’s not tough, it’s stupid. This “outbreak” may last months.

    1. the events are actually a lot of fun. I don’t think they’re tough, but definitely something to experience. I’m not deterred from doing another one, even after this.

      1. These events are not as hard as xterra triathlons or ultra marathons the are done trails in woods and forest all over. I am talking 50 and a 100 mile events. They are way harder. I don’t think I will do another Spartan, although I had a good time. It was a great workout. I don’t like the way the organization handled this situation.

  19. I would like to know if in making the course if any poison ivy was mowed (weed whacked) down in the area of the water courses. This may have released the oil from the plants into the water. Really would like to know if anyone has found a way to stop the rash.

  20. There is a bigger issue at stake here. Poison oak/ivy/sumac are not the worst things out there. How about that little brain eating amoeba that has been in the news lately (Naegleria fowleri) that likes to live in warm, fresh water and has killed people from Texas to Minnesota?

    All it’s going to take is for one overzealous legislator to get it in his or her head that OCR presents a public safety risk, and they are going to legislate the hell out of it.

    It behooves everyone, the participants, the sponsors and the organizers, to find out the source of this rash and how to prevent it in the future to show that the industry is policing itself and taking reasonable precautions to protect public safety. If it doesn’t, then the days of OCR are going to be numbered.

    I am an attorney who has worked extensively on legislative issues at the state and federal level. I have seen this happen with much less risky issues.

  21. I just got back from dermatologist and learned that it is only poison ivy. A really bad case of poison ivy. Mine started out as small bumps almost like a bug bite and has now turned into a large red rashes.

  22. I did the Foam Fest in Ottawa on June 1 and couple days later had the same rash! Saw my regular doctor 4 times gave me prednisone shot and pills and cream for mites. Nothing got rid of it. Still spreading. Sent me to soderstrom skin specialist another prednisone shot and cream still spreading so they did biopsy with another shot and different cream. Found out it was arthropod bites!

  23. Is everyone aware that Marsalles was 5 to 10 feet under water flooded just a week before the race? If you still have this “rash” i would have your doctors test you for bacterial diseases. Google rashes after a flood. There are things such as Leptospirosis, Cholera, and Thyhoid….all start with rashes. Hope not but just saying. Oh and I ran last September Super Spartan and nothing like this happened there. Good Luck. Hope everyone gets better fast!….after posting this on spartan rash page we went back and forth about Cliffs being affected by the flood in some way and came to the conclusion that at one point it had been flooded. Says so on May 11th on The Cliffs all terrain fb page. Runners also say several local volunteers spoke of the park being flooded and not being able to ride.

    Even though widespread outbreaks of infectious disease after floods are not common in the United States, it is still important to protect your health. Rare and deadly exotic diseases, such as cholera or typhoid, break out after hurricanes and floods only in areas where such diseases occur naturally. These diseases do not occur naturally in Connecticut. Common stomach (gastrointestinal) and breathing (respiratory) problems are more likely after natural disasters because clean water may be hard to find. This makes cleaning your home thoroughly, finding good drinking water, and using clean water for hand washing, bathing, and washing dishes very important.
    Am I at risk for getting sick from flood water?
    Flood waters contaminated with sewage can pose a risk to your health if swallowed. Stomach illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea are the greatest risk from swallowing contaminated water. Direct contact with contaminated flood water can cause skin rashes or infected cuts and wounds. Breathing problems can worsen if sewage is allowed to dry and becomes airborne.
    How long am I at risk?
    Low levels of some infectious agents are present in the environment normally and can remain slightly elevated for several months after a flood. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites can survive on outdoor hard surfaces, grasses and in soil after sewage contaminated flood waters have retreated. The amount of time they can survive depends on factors such as temperature, humidity, acidity of soil, and amount of sunlight. Sunlight and higher temperatures help kill them, and rain waters help flush them from the soil. Avoid these areas until they have dried and sewage is no longer visible.

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