Ohio’s local health authorities declare a community outbreak of “Crypto,” a disease that causes diarrhea and abdominal distress. More than 100 cases of cryptosporidiosis registered in Ohio this year.
The illness has been linked to public pools and water facilities, which is spread throughout the water. Officials at the public health department in Columbus reported on August 11 a recent rise in “Crypto” cases in Columbus, Franklin County, and Delaware County. The illness, characterized by diarrhea, has been before reported in the areas, however, this year its rise has increased more than the last three years combined.
Columbus Public Health released a statement in which officials link the outbreak to local pools. It has not been possible to determine which pool contains the Crypto parasite (a hardy parasite that can inhabit in chlorinated pools) because some individuals who contracted the illness reported they swam several times at different recreational water facilities in the three counties.
A spokesperson for Columbus Public Health, Jose Rodriguez, said that at least 107 cases of cryptosporidiosis had been reported in Columbus, Franklin and Delaware counties. The parasite is found in people’s fecal matter that had been infected with the illness. The Crypto disease is mainly spread by swallowing water that has been contaminated with fecal matter containing crypto.
“Cryptosporidiosis, or Crypto, is actually a diarrheal illness that’s caused by a parasite that’s transmitted either through ill individuals or animals. So the spread usually occurs when somebody swallows water that’s contaminated with the parasite and then you end up getting sick from it,” said Radhika Iyer, a Franklin County epidemiologist.
Iyer adds that the chlorine usually used to treat water cannot kill the parasite and, in the case, someone gets the disease, medical attention is not often needed due to individuals recover in a short period. Considering that the disease is spread when an infected person gets into a pool, health officials urge people with Crypto symptoms to not swim in public pools or visit water facilities.
Cases of Crypto disease in the United States
The current outbreak of Crypto concerns health authorities because of its alarming rise. This year the illness has been mainly reported in Ohio, but the rest of the US has similarly received reports of cases of Crypto.
In Delaware County health officials registered this year 19 cases of cryptosporidiosis. Those who contracted the illness said they visited Zoombezi Bay water park in July and started to present Crypto’s symptomatology.
Considering the number of cases of Crypto, public health authorities declared a community outbreak in Ohio and encouraged residents to follow suggestions to avoid the spread of Crypto outbreak.
Avoiding Crypto outbreak spread
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the main symptom of the illness is watery diarrhea. However, the agency advised US residents that it can also cause vomiting, fever and stomach cramps.
According to CDC, the Crypto parasite has an outer shell to protect itself from the pool’s chemical composition. The outer shell allows the parasite to survive in chlorinated water for extended periods of time (of 10 days or more). Those at risk of getting the illness are current visitors of public pools, and while swimming, they can ingest contaminated water with the parasite.
Although public pool’s sanity has been treated before in the US, the CDC has proposed some suggestions to avoid Crypto outbreak in the country. It is advisable that those who already have diarrhea do not go swimming and stay out of the pool. People diagnosed with Crypto should likewise stay out of pools for at least two weeks until the diarrhea symptoms stop definitively.
Showers before getting into the pool are highly suggested, and parents should frequently take their children out of the pool to bring them to the restrooms. Baby swimmers should get diapers changed at multiple times, and adults should change them in a bathroom instead of the pool. After changing diapers or using the bathroom, people need to wash their hand with water and soap.
The CDC recommended above everything that people visiting pools must avoid swallowing pool water, especially in those water facilities where water treatments are little and without regularity.
Individuals in charge of local pools are also urged to treat the water with ultraviolet light or ozone to inactivate Crypto parasite. In the case, someone reports having contracted the disease at any particular facility. The individual treatments need to be mentioned above to be conducted as soon as possible.
Source: Live Science