A statewide Cryptosporidiosis outbreak in New Mexico is being investigated with links to exposures at a livestock petting zoo at the New Mexico State Fair.
The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) investigation has revealed three patients with laboratory-confirmed Cryptosporidiosis infections and an additional 15 clinically compatible cases, all reportedly exposed to the State Fair.
Cases reside in multiple counties across the state.
The fair was between September 7-17, 2023.
Cryptosporidiosis is caused by a protozoan species (most commonly Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis). The most common presenting sign is frequent, non-bloody, watery diarrhea. Other signs and symptoms include abdominal cramps, fatigue, vomiting, anorexia, and weight loss.
The illness is usually self-limiting but can be dangerous to the immunocompromised. The incubation period averages seven days, ranging from 2 to 14 days.
Various animals can act as hosts (e.g. mammals, birds and reptiles) with may outbreaks being linked to the contamination of municipal water supplies and swimming pools as well as the interactions with livestock.
Due to this increase in Cryptosporidiosis cases, NMDOH urges medical providers to consider testing for Cryptosporidiosis in patients with non-bloody, watery diarrhea, particularly those with exposure to the State Fair or exposure to someone who attended the State Fair.
Patients with Cryptosporidium infection should be given instructions to refrain from swimming until two weeks after their symptoms resolve and should not serve food or provide care to vulnerable populations while symptomatic.
Children with Cryptosporidiosis should not attend daycare until their symptoms resolve.