While public health regularly see cases of cryptosporidiosis — commonly known as Cryptosporidium or crypto — there has been a recent rise over the normal threshold of cases across several jurisdictions in central Ohio, including Columbus, Franklin County and Delaware County.
The three jurisdictions have reported more than 93 cases so far this year, which is more than the last three years combined. This outbreak is not tied to any one location. A large portion of the cases include people with multiple exposures at various recreational water facilities throughout the three jurisdictions.
With a recent recreational water facility reporting illnesses from crypto and an overall increase of cases in our communities, public health officials are calling for safety measures residents can take to reduce the spread of the illness.
When heading to a spray fountain, pool or water park:
- Do not swim when you have diarrhea and for two weeks after you recovered.
- Do not pee or poop in the water.
- Take a shower/bathe before going in the water.
- Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before eating.
- Change diapers in a bathroom and not by the pool.
- Take kids on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
- Avoid swallowing any water and keep it out of your mouth.
Crypto is a germ that causes diarrhea. It is found in the fecal matter of a person who has been infected by crypto. It is spread by swallowing water that has been contaminated with fecal matter containing crypto. It can also be spread from human-to-human contact.
Symptoms include watery diarrhea with abdominal pain and cramping, which can be accompanied by dehydration, weight loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms can last for two weeks, with improvement often followed by recurrence. Infected persons can continue to spread the disease for several weeks after diarrhea subsides, so they should avoid activities involving recreational waters for at least two weeks after diarrhea subsides and practice diligent handwashing.
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