Health department seeing uptick in cases of Cryptosporidium

Health department seeing uptick in cases of Cryptosporidium
(Source: WTOL)

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department is seeing an uptick in Cryptosporidium cases.

"Cryptosporidium is a parasite. It usually comes from contaminated water," Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said. So you go swimming in a pool that may be contaminated. Might be a lake so that's a positive."

Cases have tripled this year. There were 28 reported cases by this time last year and 91 so far this year.

Some in the community are concerned the uptick may be coming from our drinking water, but Zgodzinski says it has nothing to do with the tap water.

"In Lucas County, that's not the case," Zgodzinski said. "If that was the case, we'd have 100,000 individuals be sick. That is not happening."

Brianna Walter, her husband and their four year old son were exposed to the pesky parasite. The symptoms were awful and she doesn't wish it on anyone.

"Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration. We were sick 4-5 days and we're still having some side effects," Walter explained.

Zgodzinski says the cases also have nothing to do with the algae blooms in the lake and river because the parasite comes from animal feces. He is still trying to find a link between the cases, but there does not seem to be one.

"Testing has changed a little bit so we're looking at that too," Zgodzinski said. "So we may be getting more positives than we have in the past because of that testing."

The Walter family did what the Health Department recommends: See your doctor or as a last resort, go to the hospital.

"Just be careful if you feel you have any of these symptoms," Walter said. "Go get tested because it's a very serious thing."

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