As we chill (sweat) in the sleepy haven of South Golden Beach in New South Wales for a brief Christmas break, health authorities report Cryptosporidium has sickened at least 200 people in December and are warning people with diarrhea to stay out of shared pools.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports almost half of the cases were in children under 10-years-old.
Health authorities have issued the warning urging people to stay out of shared swimming pools and water parks.
The biggest outbreak of cryptosporidiois was recorded in Sydney in 1998, when there were more than 1,000 confirmed cases.
Sydney was forced to boil its drinking water because it was found to be infected with the pathogens cryptosporidium and giardia.
The number of cases of Cryptosporidium in central Ohio topped 600 this week, following the holiday weekend and the unofficial end of summer and swimming pool season. Cases of cryptosporidiosis in Franklin and Delaware counties had reached 511 as of 2 Sep 2016, according to Franklin County Public Health.
Health officials had reached out to pool operators, physicians, schools and day-care centers about the outbreak. Many local pools have been “hyper-chlorinated” to flush out traces of the disease before the pools closed for the season.
Health officials say people who are sick should stay home from school or day care and avoid pools and water parks, where cryptosporidiosis and other diseases easily pass from person to person. An infected person can spread the disease long after diarrhea subsides and should avoid swimming for at least 2 weeks.
Janet Hughes of Gloucestershire Live writes that scientists are checking to see if summer holiday visits to animal attractions are behind a massive spike in the number of toddlers with cryptosporidium.
Public health chiefs are asking affected families to fill in questionnaires about where they have been and what they have eaten in an effort to trace the source of the outbreak which is particularly bad in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
Children aged between one and five years are most at risk from the parasite cryptosporidium which is three or four times more prevalent than normal this summer.
Doctors believe a small number of cases could be linked Oasis leisure centre in Swindon, which has been closed as a precautionary measure, and say swimming in contaminated lakes, rivers or swimming pools can cause the disease to strike.
But many of those struck down are young toddlers so other possible theories include the prospect that children might not have washed their hands after petting animals at attractions during the summer holidays.
Hand washing is never enough.
With cases of Cryptosporidium linked to public pools reaching 300 in Columbus, Ohio, and 100 in Phoenix, Arizona, reports have emerged that there are now 223 confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium across southwest UK.
According to Heather Pickstock of the Bath Chronicle, no source has been found as yet for the cases and it is not known if they are all linked.
Dr Toyin Ejidokun, consultant in Communicable Disease Control for PHE South West, said, “We have had confirmed reports of Cryptosporidium infection amongst a number of people who visited the Oasis swimming pool in Swindon earlier this summer. The swimming pool is one of a number of possible exposures that we are exploring. At this point, there is no confirmed source of exposure. We would like to reassure the public that we have only had reports of these cases, and if visitors to swimming pools have had similar symptoms, to contact their GP.”
Heath officials in Arizona said Friday that more than 100 people have been sickened in an outbreak of diarrheal infection and that more than 20 water facilities may have been contaminated.
Maricopa County officials said that splash pads, water parks and public pools in the Phoenix area may have been contaminated with the pool-linked gastrointestinal illness cryptosporidiosis, or crypto, the Arizona Republic reported.
Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, the medical director for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, told the paper that there’s no reliable test for the disease in water, making the determination where the outbreak started difficult to find.
The microscopic, chlorine-resistant parasite that causes sickness is most commonly spread through water. Symptoms of the infection include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pains, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Crypto could be spread at streams, rivers, ponds and lakes as well.
Maricopa County’s cryptosporidium outbreak grew to 32 confirmed cases as of Wednesday afternoon.
Health officials say at least four public swimming pools have been linked to infected people. Officials, who would not confirm the locations, said all the operators are complying with protocols to super-chlorinate water to kill any crypto that may exist.
Last week a mother told ABC15 said her teen daughter got sick after visiting Wet ‘N’ Wild in the north Valley.
Wet ‘N’ Wild tells ABC15 the they are in compliance with CDC and county health standards. A spokeswoman also says the pools are being super-chlorinated weekly as a precaution, and signs inform customers of healthy swimming practices. Those include showering before entering the water and not swimming after bouts of diarrhea.
Columbus Public Health along with other central Ohio agencies have declared a community outbreak of cryptosporidiosis after more than 100 cases have been reported in the area.
There has been a recent rise over the normal threshold of cases across several jurisdictions in central Ohio, including Columbus, Franklin County and Delaware County, according to Columbus Public Health.
The three jurisdictions have reported more than 107 cases so far this year, which is more than the last three years combined. This outbreak is not tied to any one location. A spokesperson with Columbus Public Health says there have been 62 cases in Columbus, 34 in Franklin County and 11 in Delaware County.
A large portion of the cases include people with multiple exposures at various recreational water facilities throughout the three jurisdictions.
A public pool is Hastings has been closed while authorities investigate a vomiting outbreak among students attending a school swimming sports day.
About 20 Taradale High School students suddenly became sick at the Frimley Pool on Wednesday morning during championship races being held as part of the sports day.
School principal Stephen Hensman said a similar number of students reported feeling nauseous, although they were not physically ill.
All appeared to be recovering by Wednesday afternoon and testing of the pool water had not shed any light on what might have caused the students to be sick.
When someone barfs or craps at the pool we frequent, everyone is moved to another pool, big chunks removed and the water hyper-chlorinated.
A swimming lesson was interrupted after a child vomited in the pool, causing concern for children and parents alike.
Youngsters aged six and seven were enjoying a swimming lesson in the training pool at the Dolphin Centre, in Darlington town centre, when the incident happened on Monday (December 14) evening.
Bosses at the Darlington Borough Council-run centre said ‘all necessary checks’ were carried out following the vomiting incident.
That is at odds with the account of one mother, who said the pool was not cleared after the child was sick and attendants used a net to fish bits of vomit out of the pool.
The mother-of-three, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “My daughter was having a swimming lesson and another little girl suddenly got out of the pool and we were all wondering what was wrong and if she was okay.
“After about five minutes, I saw the attendants fishing around the pool with a net and that’s when we found out the girl had been sick in water.
“I immediately wanted my daughter out of the pool and I realised there were two pieces of sick floating next to her.
“Nobody knew what was happening and I asked one of the lifeguards why they had not taken my kid out of the pool.”
A council spokeswoman said: “We follow comprehensive industry guidelines when dealing with any incident like this.
The incidence of recreational water-associated outbreaks in the United States has significantly increased, driven, at least in part, by outbreaks both caused by Cryptosporidium and associated with treated recreational water venues.
Because of the parasite’s extreme chlorine tolerance, transmission can occur even in well-maintained treated recreational water venues (e.g. pools) and a focal cryptosporidiosis outbreak can evolve into a community-wide outbreak associated with multiple recreational water venues and settings (e.g. childcare facilities).
In August 2004 in Auglaize County, Ohio, multiple cryptosporidiosis cases were identified and anecdotally linked to pool A. Within 5 days of the first case being reported, pool A was hyperchlorinated to achieve 99·9% Cryptosporidium inactivition. A case-control study was launched to epidemiologically ascertain the outbreak source 11 days later. A total of 150 confirmed and probable cases were identified; the temporal distribution of illness onset was peaked, indicating a point-source exposure. Cryptosporidiosis was significantly associated with swimming in pool A (matched odds ratio 121·7, 95% confidence interval 27·4–∞) but not with another venue or setting.
The findings of this investigation suggest that proactive implementation of control measures, when increased Cryptosporidium transmission is detected but before an outbreak source is epidemiologically ascertained, might prevent a focal cryptosporidiosis outbreak from evolving into a community-wide outbreak.
Preventing community-wide transmission of Cryptosporidium: a proactive public health response to a swimming pool-associated outbreak – Auglaize County, Ohio, USA
Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 143 / Issue 16 / December 2015, pp 3459-3467
East Tennessee health officials are seeing a major spike in reported cryptosporidium cases, a water-dwelling parasite that most commonly contaminates public water sources.
“It is a parasite that lives in the bowels of people who are infected with it,” said Darci Hodge, director of quality and infection control at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. “It can live in animals and it can be passed on by people or animals in living water for a short period of time, and that’s often how you and I will get it.”
Hodge said Children’s Hospital confirmed 29 reported cases of cryptosporidium this year, the biggest number of cases it’s seen in years.
Within the past five years, the second highest number of reported cases of the disease at Children’s Hospital was only five.
“It was significant enough because the Health Department and we, here, really talked a lot about it because it was odd to see so many cases,” Hodge said.
The Knox County Health Department has 34 reported cases on record this year.
“It only takes one person with this illness to have a little spill in the pool, you might say,” said Connie Cronley, an epidemiology nurse at the Health Department. “It could infect lots of folks.”
Cronley said the parasite comes with many symptoms, but not all of them may appear serious enough to contact a doctor.