The Delaware General Health District continues to respond to the outbreak of a diarrhoeal disease.

There are 600 confirmed and probable cases of cryptosporidiosis, or crypto, in the city of Columbus; and Franklin and Delaware counties, according to Traci Whittaker, spokeswoman for the Delaware health district.

Crypto is a germ that can cause diarrhea and is found in the waste of an infected person. It can be spread by swallowing contaminated water and from human-to-human contact.

There are now 59 cases in Delaware County including 39 confirmed cases, and up from 46 total cases as of Sept. 1.

The city of Columbus has 356 cases and Franklin County has 185.

Symptoms of the illness, which can last two weeks, include watery diarrhea with abdominal pain and cramping, which can be accompanied by dehydration, weight loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. Those infected can continue to spread the disease for several weeks after diarrhea subsides.

Public health officials are calling for safety measures residents can take to reduce the spread of the illness.

Public officials recommend the following safety measures to reduce the spread of the illness when heading to a spray fountain, pool or water park:

• Do not swim when you have diarrhea and for two weeks after you have recovered.

• Do not relieve yourself in the water.

• Take a shower/bathe before going in the water.

• Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before eating.

• Change diapers in a bathroom and not by a pool.

• Take children on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.

• Avoid swallowing any water and keep it out of your mouth.

59 cases in Delaware County

By Brandon Klein

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Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.