Cryptosporidiosis Watch: Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska
by Dan Nguyen
Disease forecaster Ascel Bio today is re-issuing an alert for Cryptosporidiosis disease across the United States.
Warnings for Maryland, Michigan and Nebraska are issued as these states are seeing incidence rates above forecast, according to the most recent data from early October 2016.
Ascel Bio’s current forecasts for all mentioned states show a largely decreasing trend that will continue as we approach winter. In late September, Maryland and Nebraska cryptosporidiosis levels were within the range of our forecasts, aligned with the downward slope of our projections. However, recent reported cases indicate a strong surge that has pushed levels out of range and now exceed our forecast highs. Michigan case counts have also exceeded its projected forecast high as cases have rapidly surged from late September levels when they were below our forecast low.
Nationally, Ascel Bio is projecting a significant increase in Cryptosporidiosis cases and demand for care in the coming months. Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that infects reptiles, fish, birds and mammals, such as farm livestock. Petting farm outbreaks display a seasonal trend as these outbreaks appear during springtime and summer. It replicates in a host after ingestion of contaminated food or water. Once expelled with fecal matter, the parasite can survive in different types of environmental conditions due to its robust shell. Symptoms start 2-10 days after infection and include: watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea and vomiting. Healthy individuals can recover on their own but immunocompromised individuals are more prone to developing chronic illnesses and complications. Factors that contribute to cryptosporidiosis outbreaks involve direct contact with newborn livestock, animal feces and inadequate hygiene. Preventative measures include maintaining proper hygiene after handling animals, soil and contact with fecal matter. Drinking untreated water is not recommended.