San Joaquin County health officials are reporting an increase in the number of reported cases of Cryptosporidiosis, or “Crypto” this summer.
“Since early July, we have 17 people confirmed along with an additional 41 symptomatic contacts,” reports Dr. Karen Furst, Assistant Public Health Officer for San Joaquin County. In the past five years, San Joaquin County averaged only 1 case per year.
While most cases reported in San Joaquin County were infected by swallowing contaminated recreational water from different sources (pools, splash pads, lakes and the Delta), some are also becoming sick from exposure to others who are infected or from items that are contaminated from those who are infected. This can happen by changing a diaper or when a person sick with Crypto fails to wash their hands thoroughly after using the restroom then touches an object or prepares food. People can be infectious and continue to spread the parasite even weeks after symptoms have stopped.
Symptoms include watery diarrhea and stomach cramps, which generally begin 2 to 10 days (average 7 days) after becoming infected with the parasite and usually last about 1 to 4 weeks in persons with healthy immune systems. Symptoms can come and go for up to 30 days. People who are in poor health, have a weakened immune system, are pregnant, or a young child are at higher risk for more severe and prolonged illness or dehydration.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports there were twice as many Crypto outbreaks linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds in 2016 as in 2014.
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