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Crypto Outbreak Continues to Grow with 202 Cases in Central Ohio: 8.18.2016

Press Release

August 18, 2016                                                                            


Jose Rodriguez, Columbus Public Health, 614-604-5025, [email protected]
Mitzi Kline, Franklin County Public Health, 614-525-3028, [email protected]
Traci Whittaker, Delaware General Health District, 740-203-2085, [email protected]


Crypto Outbreak Continues to Grow with 202 Cases in Central Ohio

Public Health Working with Pools, Schools and Child Care Facilities to Prevent New Infections

The community outbreak of cryptosporidiosis -- commonly known as Cryptosporidium or crypto – continues to grow with 202 cases in Columbus, Franklin and Delaware counties.

The number of reported cases so far this year is more than the last 4 years combined. The outbreak is not tied to any one location as a large number of cases include people with multiple exposures at various local recreational water facilities.

In response to the outbreak, public health is reaching out and working with pool operators, schools and day care facilities to share the latest guidance for Crypto prevention from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

To reduce the spread of illness when heading to a spray fountain, pool or water park:

  • Do not swim when you have diarrhea and for two weeks after you recovered.
  • Do not pee or poop 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 the pool.
  • Take kids on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
  • Avoid swallowing any water and keep it out of your mouth.
Additionally, the CDC recommends these safety measures for schools and child care facilities:
  • Keep kids with diarrhea out of a child care setting and school until diarrhea has stopped. 
    Keep kids with diarrhea or those diagnosed with Crypto out of water-play and swimming activities for at least 2 weeks after diarrhea has stopped.
  • Practice good hygiene, especially handwashing with soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Crypto is not killed by alcohol gels or hand sanitizers.
  • Have kids wash their hands when they first arrive, after they use the toilet, after having their diapers changed, and before eating snacks or meals.
  • Keep facilities clean by disinfecting bathrooms, tabletops, desks, diaper-changing areas, toys, food surfaces and high chairs every day.

Crypto is a germ that causes diarrhea. Found in the fecal matter of a person who has been infected by crypto, it is spread by swallowing water that has been contaminated with fecal matter containing crypto or from human-to-human contact.

Symptoms include watery diarrhea with abdominal pain and cramping which can be accompanied by dehydration, weight loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms can last for two weeks with improvement often followed by recurrence. Infected persons can continue to spread the disease for several weeks after diarrhea subsides, so they should avoid activities in recreational waters for at least two weeks after diarrhea subsides and practice diligent handwashing.

For more information, visit Columbus Public Health, Delaware General Health District or Franklin County Public Health or on FacebookTwitter.