Ongoing Cryptosporidiosis Warnings: AL, PA, WA
by Dan Nguyen
Disease forecaster Ascel Bio today is re-issuing an alert for Cryptosporidiosis disease across the United States.
Warnings for Alabama, Pennsylvania and Washington are issued as these states are seeing incidence rates above forecast, according to the most recent data from mid-November 2016.
Ascel Bio’s current forecasts for all mentioned states show a largely decreasing trend that will continue throughout the winter months. Alabama is currently showing a twofold increase in cryptosporidium cases since early November when levels were in range with our forecast high. At that time, cases had been decreasing from a late October peak. In Pennsylvania, cases were declining from an early October peak, to levels in range with our forecasts. However, our data indicates that this trend has ceased and cases have steadily increased beyond our projections. In comparison, Washington state reported no observations of cryptosporidiosis in October. Nevertheless, recent reports have shown a large number of cases that currently exceed our forecasts and a late September peak.
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.