Cryptosporidiosis outbreak in La Crosse County

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - La Crosse County is experiencing an increase in Cryptosporidiosis cases.

Four cases have been reported in the past two weeks in La Crosse County, Carol Drury, RS, Environmental Health Manager with the La Crosse County Health Department said. Four additional cases have been reported statewide associated with exposure from La Crosse County.

The cases have occurred among children and adults with the Public Health/Environmental Health staff working on preventing further spread by contacting the infected persons and recommending treatment and hygiene practices.

“You can help,” Drury states, “by being aware that Cryptosporidiosis is occurring and by taking simple measures to reduce your risk.” Prevention measures include: avoiding sick animals, wearing protective outer clothing and boots when visiting farms, and washing your hands immediately after interacting with animals (at farms, petting zoos at festivals- farmers markets - libraries, and field trips).

All people are at risk from cryptosporidiosis. It is caused by a protozoan parasite that is shed in the feces of domestic animals and humans, causing profuse watery diarrhea and abdominal cramping. It can also be accompanied by nausea, loss of appetite, headache and fever.

Proper handwashing can interrupt the cycle of transmission with happens from contaminated drinking water, drinking raw milk, from animal to person or from person to person via food handling.

The parasite can be shed in the stool by the infected person for several weeks.

The La Crosse Health Department urges those that have concerns about diarrhea that has lasted more than a couple days, to consult your primary care provider and discuss the possibility of cryptosporidiosis.

More information can be found at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or CDC website or by calling the Public Health/Environmental Health Division of the La Crosse County Health Department at 608-785-9728.

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