A regional outbreak of the Omicron variant of cryptosporidiosis in the southeastern states has affected more than 260,000 people since the period beginning in May, CDC reported on Thursday. In a series of tweets, the agency described the severity of the outbreak and discussed the restrictions imposed on the travel of passengers from the affected states.
Where the outbreak is still under investigation:
Baptist states of the Southeastern states. Georgia and Georgia in particular have seen people infected.
Children: Children are susceptible to catching cryptosporidiosis because the parasite survives in fluid from the bladder or from the ear that settles in the ear canal. This can occur from another source such as an unclean diaper. Doctors will not diagnose the patient’s condition unless the child is seen by a doctor. Cryptosporidium parasites have very few parasites in their feces, so most individuals who get the parasite are not at risk of doing permanent damage to their gut if they are not treated. However, the parasite can cause flu-like symptoms.
Isolated cases of the disease in pets. Dogs carry several types of parasites, but this one seems to be able to survive in water and float in the water. Pets can get the parasite by drinking or ingesting feces that contain the parasite. Preventing pets from drinking or eating from unclean water is a good idea. Many dog owners avoid putting their pets on sidewalks and park decks because they like to frequent these areas.
States restricting travel:
All restrictions against travel to this region are in place.
CDC monitors outbreaks with reports from healthcare providers and local health departments. CDC and other government partners use CDC’s Travel Advisory messages to aid in the prevention of travel to outbreaks. Last week’s infection in Pennsylvania and Ohio requires measles vaccination for anyone traveling from or through the affected areas to help slow the spread of the illness. However, people who already have the disease are no longer infected with measles.
People with the disease are contagious while they are ill and may have symptoms within one to three days of exposure to the parasite in fecal matter or soil. Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, headache, fever, and chills. In some cases, even long-term exposure may not lead to illness.
What to do:
If you think you might have the parasite and get sick, contact your doctor immediately.
People are advised to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly during and after handling and preparing food, and to wash their hands with soap and water before eating, preparing food, and engaging in “family activities.” Hands should also be washed with boiled water after using the bathroom and before preparing any other personal care.
Do not drink water from tap water without disinfecting the container with a bleach solution.
If you have had diarrhea while being ill with the disease, do not swallow food or drink that has been out for more than a few hours.
Do not bathe, shower, or rinse hands in a public bathroom. Don’t use tap water to clean vegetables for cooking or child play.
Do not eat small animals without washing utensils or hands and or their eyes.
Do not drink raw or undercooked food from the same pan used to cook raw or undercooked food.
CDC encourages people to speak with their health care provider about prevention of disease and health care preventions. An antiviral drug may be prescribed to control the infection if given within 48 hours of infection. Antiviral drugs treat the parasite’s effects and reduce the symptoms of diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.