Eleven cases of cryptosporidiosis from Delaware County are part of a larger community outbreak as of Thursday afternoon, according to Traci Whittaker, spokeswoman for the Delaware General Health District.
Crypto is a germ that causes diarrhea and is found in the waste of an infected person who has been infected by crypto. It can be spread by swallowing contaminated water and from human-to-human contact.
There have been more than 93 area cases of the illness, which is more than the last three years combined, according to the health district. A majority of the cases include multiple exposure to various recreational water facilities throughout the jurisdictions in the city of Columbus and in Franklin and Delaware counties.
The outbreak is not tied to any one location, according to the health district.
“Of the 11, we have two connected to Zoombezi Bay,” Whittaker said in an email. “This is an evolving situation and we are fielding a lot of calls from the public that we are still looking into.”
Whittaker said she was not aware of any cases in the city of Delaware but “are looking into a lot of calls at this point in time.”
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.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.