Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Water Woes: Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidium – a protozoan parasite that is able to withstand normal levels of water chlorination – has popped into the news once again, with outbreaks reported in Ohio and New Mexico.

Health officials in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio have received reports of 31 cases of Cryptosporidium infection since the beginning of July. Suspicion has fallen on public swimming pools – a common means of spread. 

In Albuquerque, the health department has confirmed two cases of Cryptosporidium and is investigating 10 more. Victims reported swimming at the West Mesa Aquatic Center. The city has hyperchlorinated its swimming pools in order to kill the pathogen, and advises that public pools are safe for swimming.

Cryptosporidium infections may be asymptomatic, or they can induce watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. The protozoa is transmitted through contact with infectious feces. Children suffering from diarrhea often can contaminate water in swimming pools or wading pools and pass their infection on to others.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.