Cryptosporidium Disease Outbreak

Where Is The Crypto Outbreak?

There has been an increase in the Cryptosporidium disease in Ohio. This has been said to be the biggest outbreak of Crypto since 2008. Columbus Public Health declared this after more than 100 cases of this disease being reported. The public health officials are calling for safety measures in preventing Cryptosporidium from spreading. This disease is not in any one specific area.

 

What Is The Cryptosporidium Disease?

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The Cryptosporidium disease, also known as Crypto, is a microscopic parasite. This parasite causes the diarrheal disease. Crypto has many species that can affect animals and humans. This parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to live outside the body and be tolerant to chlorine disinfection. This disease is the most common causes of waterborne disease in humans in the United States.

How Is Crypto Spread?

Crypto can be transferred to anyone that has come in contact with anything contaminated with feces. Some examples of contaminations are drinking contaminated water or swimming in contaminated water that contains the Crypto parasite, eating uncooked or contaminated food that has been in contact with Crypto. You can become infected by touching your hand to your mouth after touching a contaminated surface or object that has strands of the crypto parasite. Having close contact with infected people or animals can also cause you to be infected with the Cryptosporidium parasite. This parasitic disease is not a blood traveling disease. It only travels by the contaminated of a Crypto-infected surface, object, or living object.

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What Are Some Symptoms of Crypto?

Symptoms of the Crypto disease can last for up to two weeks. It can also last up to a month. Symptoms may not be as visible to some as they are for others. Symptoms of the Crypto disease usually appear within a week of contamination. These symptoms include watery diarrhea, dehydration, lack of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps or pains, fever, nausea, or vomiting. These symptoms can also become sporadic over a course of a month.

How Can Crypto Be Treated?

Nitazoxanide is a course of treatment for getting rid of Cryptosporidium. Nitazoxanide is an FDA-approved treatment of diarrhea of Crypto or Giardia lamblia. Common side effects of this drug are diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and headaches. Although this disease can be treated, it cannot be cured.

Photomicrograph revealed stool exudates in a patient with shigel

Who Is Most At Risk?

Children who attend day care centers, including diaper-aged children, child care workers, parents of infected children, people who take care of other people with cryptosporidiosis, international travelers, backpackers, hikers, and campers who drink unfiltered, untreated water, people who drink from untreated shallow, unprotected wells, people, including swimmers, who swallow water from contaminated sources, people who handle infected cattle, people exposed to human feces through sexual contact. These people are the ones most at risk for being infected with the Cryptosporidium disease.

How Can Cryptosporidium Be Diagnosed?

If there is a possibility that you think you have Crypto, see your healthcare provider immediately. They will then ask you to submit a sample of your stool to see if you are infected. You may also have submit several samples of your stool since Crypto can be difficult to find. Most laboratories do not usually do Crypto testing, so your healthcare provider may have to request testing specifically for the Crypto parasite.

Written by Bethany Montgomery

 

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This is the blog run by the Writing for Media class.

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