157 sick, up from 11 last year; reports of crypto rise in Florida county

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County is asking for the public’s help to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis, a disease that spreads easily person to person in in households, child-care settings and schools, and through swimming in contaminated water or from contact with animals.

listeriaDOH-Hillsborough says the number of Cryptosporidiosis cases reported to them has increased since school started in the county.

Since July 1, 2014, 157 cases of Cryptosporidiosis have been reported by DOH-Hillsborough, as compared to 11 cases during the same time period last year. Many of these cases have reported spending time at school or day care the incubation period.

The highest number of cases of infection is in those younger than 15. Health officials are concerned that the numbers of cases could increase if proper precautions are not followed.

Gene sequencing refines threatening Cryptosporidium list

Twenty-six species of Cryptosporidium have been recognised and 18 species declared non-valid in a recent shake-up of the parasite’s taxonomy using DNA sequencing techniques.

crypto.farm.walesCryptosporidium is the second biggest cause of infant diarrhoea and death in developing countries, and is found across 95 nations, including Australia.

The parasite spreads by reproducing in the small intestine of its hosts, generating spore-like oocysts that are shed in the faeces and then consumed in contaminated food or water.

Current testing for Cryptosporidium relies on immunoassays and microscopy, techniques that can identify the presence of oocysts, but not their species.

Since 20 of the 26 species are known to infect humans, this can have important implications for public health.

“Most of [the oocysts] look the same under the microscope, so the only way you can tell them apart is by looking at their DNA,” says Murdoch University Professor Una Ryan, who worked with the US Centre for Disease Control and the US Department of Agriculture on the taxonomy project.

The team used a variety of DNA sequencing and typing techniques to identify gene fragments that are used to characterise each species.

Person with diarrhea most likely source of Crypto at Georgia splash pad

An infected person with diarrhea who used the East Athens Community Park splash pad earlier this month is the likely source for the recent spread of the parasite Cryptosporidium confirmed to have infected at least 16 children, the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department and the Clarke County Health Department determined this week.

diaper.poolAccording to a statement, the CCHD was alerted Aug. 11 to several cases of children falling ill after attending a private party at the splash pad on Aug. 3. As part of its investigation, the health department contacted Leisure Services Aug. 12 for information and took water samples soon after. Water samples were submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the next day, and while final CDC test results are not expected until later this week, the health department confirmed samples taken from infected children indicate Cryptosporidium, commonly known as Crypto.

One of the leading causes of recreational water illness, Crypto is spread when people swallow water recently contaminated by an infected person’s fecal matter.

Once the health department determined Crypto as a probable cause, staff at Leisure Services initiated a precautionary disinfectant treatment at the splash pad prior to reopening it to the public. The treatment used more than twice the amount of chlorine shown by CDC studies to eradicate Crypto and was used for a longer period of time than required by the health department, according to ACC Leisure Services Park Services Division Maintenance Supervisor Keith Kirkland.

Petting zoos can suck: Second outbreak of infection with a rare Cryptosporidium parvum genotype in schoolchildren associated with contact with lambs/goat kids in Norway

In March 2012, a second outbreak of Cryptosporidium parvum affected children following a stay at a holiday farm in Norway; the first outbreak occurred in 2009. We studied a cohort of 145 schoolchildren who had visited the farm, of which 40 (28%) were cases.

petting zoo 1Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in faecal samples from humans, goat kids and lambs. Molecular studies revealed C. parvum subtype IIa A19G1R1 in all samples including human samples from the 2009 outbreak. A dose–response relationship was found between the number of optional sessions with animals and illness, increasing from two sessions [risk ratio (RR) 2·7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·6–11·5] to six sessions (RR 8·0, 95% CI 1·7–37·7). The occurrence of two outbreaks 3 years apart, with the same subtype of C. parvum, suggests that the parasite is established in the farm’s environment. We recommend greater emphasis on hand hygiene and routines related to animal contact.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

 

Cryptosporidium confirmed at Florida water park

The Pinellas County Department of Health has notified the City of Tarpon Springs that they have received three confirmed cases of cryptosporidium in which the patients had been at the Tarpon Springs Splash Park during the incubation period.

doug.ben_.family-300x225All three patients attended the park during the fourth week of July.

The City completely replaced and treated the water and all associated water systems at the Splash Park on Aug. 1. In an abundance of caution, the park will be closed Thursday and Friday while this process is repeated.

The City says it anticipates the park will reopen on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m.

58 sick: Cryptosporidium outbreak in Florida

I do miss our trips to Florida, but not the 24-hour drives, and Brisbane is like the Tampa of Australia, so it doesn’t suck.

doug.ben.familyUnless you get Cryptosproidium.

The Florida Health Department has issued a health alert for Pinellas County which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater — after 58 cases of a parasitic illness have been reported.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite found in contaminated water, and can make people very sick. Symptoms include severe cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

“It really has to do with coming in contact with contaminated fecal matter where this parasite lives,” said Maggie Hall from the FDOH in Pinellas County.

Cryptosporidium spreads easily in water. Half the cases have come from public pools and water parks in Pinellas, so the facilities were alerted. Northwest Pool shut down as a precaution and is being tested after a child who may have visited there came down with the illness.

‘Wash your bum’ to avoid crypto at pools?

Armchair microbiologist Rick Ledbetter with the Salt Lake County Health Department says that to avoid Cryptosporidium in pools, “Wash your bum! Use plenty of soap, scrub down thoroughly. If you’re a mom of little children, use diapers, wash their bum and make sure you wash your hands before you come back to the pool so again we’re not spreading germs.”

diaper.poolSalt Lake County battled an outbreak of cryptosporidium in 2007 and a spike in cases in 2012. Health officials say it can be easily prevented — if swimmers practice proper hygiene before diving into the pool.

At the Redwood Recreation Center, the pool is closed for five minutes every hour to encourage people to take a bathroom break, rather than going in the pool. Every other hour, the water is tested for bacteria.

The pool’s manager, Avonte King-Henry, said they’re vigilant about germs, knowing how fast crypto can spread.

“Super fast, especially with diarrhea,” he said. “That cloud that happens, it just spreads so fast. It’s so important to get them out and close the pool off.”

Why did UK pool stay open 11 days after diarrhea alert?

The Aqua Vale Swimming Pool remained open for 11 days even though environmental health chiefs raised concerns about a dangerous contamination.

Its two pools were later shut down, on April 3, after tests revealed that cryptosporidium was present in the water.

diaper.poolParents are demanding answers from Everyone Active, the firm that runs the facility.

One father, whose six-year-old daughter had to visit the hospital after swimming there, said: “My daughter has been really ill for more than a week now after going swimming and we’ve been back and forward to the doctors and even up to the hospital she has been so bad.

“None of her friends and family who don’t swim there are sick and to hear they knew about it is infuriating.

“I’m considering taking her out of her lessons there now.”

80 crypto cases a year; handwashing is never enough: UK health chief warns over risk of infection from region’s petting farms

We have a paper coming out shortly about best practices at petting zoos and farm visits and state fairs and just hanging out with animals.

I’ll follow my own best practice and wait until it’s published to talk about it, but Dr Ken Lamden, the health chief of Cumbria and north Lancashire in handwashing.ekka.jpgthe UK is urging parents to be aware of potential infections that can be caught at farm attractions.

Over the past 20 years, an average of around 80 cases of cryptosporidium infection linked to visits to petting farms have been reported to Public Health England each year. This is out of a total of around two million visits to the 1,000 plus farm attractions in the UK, with peak visitor times during school and public holidays.

Dr Lamden, of PHE’s Cumbria and Lancashire Centre, said: “Visiting a farm is a very enjoyable experience for both children and adults alike but it’s important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infection because of the micro-organisms – or germs – they carry.

 “Anyone visiting a petting farm should be aware of the need to wash their hands thoroughly using soap and water after they have handled animals or been in their surroundings. Children are more at risk of serious illness and should be closely supervised to make sure that they wash their hands thoroughly.

“It is also very important not to rely on hand gels and wipes for protection because these are not suitable against the sort of germs found on farms.” 

Unpasteurized apple cider sickens 11 in Johnson County

In 1923, 24 people were sickened with Salmonella in unpasteurized apple cider.

In 1993, 213 people were sickened with Cryptosporidium from unpasteurized cider in Maine.

The complete list is here.

But in the face of fawning N.Y.Times articles that promote food porn powell.kids_.ge_.sweet_.corn_.cider_.00-300x227over safety with cider, it’s expected that outbreaks will continue.

Apple cider – not the hard stuff but the northern version of pressed apples into juice — is suspected as the cause of a food-poisoning outbreak in eastern Iowa.

The Johnson County Public Health Department said Friday that it is investigating a cluster of cryptosporidium infections.

Doug Beardsley, the county’s public health director, said 11 people became ill, including one who had to be hospitalized. All reported drinking unpasteurized apple cider, he said, though it’s not clear if the cider came from a single source.

Beardsley said no new illnesses are cropping up. He said that even if authorities determine who made or sold the cider, his department wouldn’t necessarily identify the business publicly. That decision would be up to the state health department, he said. The state agency often has declined to identify businesses in such cases if outbreaks are no longer spreading.

Cryptosporidium infections have been widespread in Iowa this year, with more than 1,200 confirmed cases. Many of the infections stemmed from contaminated swimming pools over the summer, though authorities have noted that the parasite can also come from contaminated food and from contact, especially in child-care settings. The state health department said only Johnson County has recently reported cases related to apple cider.