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Published On: Wed, Sep 4th, 2013

Wyoming reports more ‘crypto’ this year than the last two

The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is reporting 54 cases of the parasitic infection, cryptosporidium so far in 2013, with nearly three-quarters reported from Campbell County.

The Star Tribune reports this number is more cases than in either of the past two full years.

crypto

Cryptosporidium oocysts Photo/CDC

Health officials are recommending residents take safety measures when swimming to prevent further spread of the disease.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite that infects humans and animals. Cryptosporidium can make people sick when they swallow contaminated food or water. A person can also become ill from others who are infected and are not using good hygiene practices.

Over half of the identified cases this summer report going to Keyhole Reservoir. Cryptosporidium is naturally found in untreated bodies of water such as reservoirs, lakes, and rivers. Cases also commonly reported exposure to swimming pools. While chlorination helps disinfect pool water and prevents many waterborne illnesses, cryptosporidium is particularly resistant to chlorine disinfection because the organism has a hard coating or shell. Additionally, accidental fecal releases can introduce the parasite into pool water.

Common symptoms of cryptosporidium include frequent, watery diarrhea; stomach cramps; nausea and vomiting; fatigue; loss of appetite and fever.  People who believe they may have an illness consistent with cryptosporidium should contact a healthcare provider. Some people may not show any signs of illness, but could still have the parasite and spread illness to others. Children have been known to show mild symptoms and pass the illness on to other family members. For most people, the illness lasts from 1 to 20 days.

WDH recommends the following preventive measures:

  • Do not swallow any untreated surface water, like from rivers and lakes, or swimming pool water
  • Wash uncooked food items before they are consumed.
  • Practice good hand hygiene and frequent hand washing
  • If you have diarrhea, do not use public recreational water, including swimming pools, lakes, and ponds, until two weeks after your symptoms go away.
  • If you have diarrhea or vomiting not explained by another non-infectious cause, you should stay home if you are in food service work, direct care of hospitalized or institutionalized patients,  or attending or working in child care.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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