News / Blog

Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis linked to dairy calves
March 6, 2018

The Clark County Health Department has confirmed an outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis, a parasitic illness that causes severe stomach problems.

Clark County Director of Environmental Health Larry Shaffer said the cause of the outbreak has been traced to dairy calves.

“Our communicable disease nurse and our epidemiologist have been working and they’ve identified a probable source as baby calves – more specifically called dairy feeders – which were brought here to Clark County to be sold to children for 4H projects,” Shaffer said.

_calves1cowsmo2017So far, there are 3 confirmed cases, 9 probably cases, and 11 suspected cases – in both Clark and Champaign counties. Both children and adults are infected.

“The primary symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea, maybe also fever, and abdominal cramping and pain,” Shaffer said.

The parasite is found in soil, food, water, or any surfaces that have been contaminated with feces from infected animals or humans.

If you suspect contamination in your home, Clark County Epidemiologist Anna Jean Petroff says unfortunately- bleach will not work to kill the organism.

“Cryptosporidium is resistant to most chlorine and other disinfectants,” Petroff said. “So we recommend washing with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution… Hydrogen peroxide is the only disinfectant that’s known to kill this parasite.”

To prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, disinfect surfaces and objects by soaking them with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution for at least 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

Clark County officials say they’re still looking into whether anyone else has been infected.

They’ve sent an alert out to physicians on the outbreak and if you do feel sick, it’s important to tell your doctor if you’ve had any contact with cattle or other livestock.

“It could easily be confused with influenza,” Petroff said. “The difference here is that cryptosporidium is watery diarrhea plus may also have vomiting, severe abdominal cramping and fever.”

Clark County Health says a good way to avoid getting sick: frequent hand-washing after touching livestock and changing your boots and clothes before you go inside.

Symptoms typically present 2 to 10 days from the time of exposure to the parasite.

Symptoms can last about 1 to 2 weeks but an individual can be contagious for several weeks after symptoms stop.

Symptoms include:

  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

 

Source: wdtn.com

 



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