Disease forecaster Ascel Bio today is issuing an alert for Cryptosporidiosis disease across the United States.
Warnings for Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington are issued as these states are seeing incidence rates above forecast, according to the most recent data from August 2016.
Last observations from late July showed levels that were either in range with or lower than our forecast low. However, recent August data now indicates drastic increases in Cryptosporidiosis cases. These increases are especially noted for Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania, where forecasts at that time were at an all-time high for the year. Reported case counts exceeded these peaks considerably. Current projections for all mentioned states now show decreasing forecasts that will continue through the winter.
Nationally, Ascel Bio is projecting a significant increase in Cryptosporidiosis cases and demand for care during the summer months. Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite that infects reptiles, fish, birds and mammals, such as farm livestock. Petting farm outbreaks display a seasonal trend as these outbreaks appear during springtime and summer. It replicates in a host after ingestion of contaminated food or water. Once expelled with fecal matter, the parasite can survive in different types of environmental conditions due to its robust shell. Symptoms start 2-10 days after infection and include: watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea and vomiting. Healthy individuals can recover on their own but immunocompromised individuals are more prone to developing chronic illnesses and complications. Factors that contribute to cryptosporidiosis outbreaks involve direct contact with newborn livestock, animal feces and inadequate hygiene. Preventative measures include maintaining proper hygiene after handling animals, soil and contact with fecal matter. Drinking untreated water is not recommended.
Dan Nguyen joined Ascel Bio as a DiseaseCast contributor in January 2016. He holds a B.S. in Health Sciences and is currently a Medical Assistant working in New York State. Dan brings a passionate interest in clinical best practices and global health care issues to his reportage on disease outbreaks.