The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County issued a press release Wednesday asking the public to help prevent the spread of Cryptosporidiosis.
Commonly referred to in its shortened form, 58 cases of Crypto have been reported to DOH-Pinellas as of July. More than half of the cases have affected people younger than 18.
The disease spreads easily in households, child-care settings and through swimming in contaminated water. Crypto is a parasitic disease that can cause loose, watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and slight fever, the press release states.
It continues that Crypto is “often spread by hands contaminated with feces during toilet use or diaper-changing. From the hands, it can spread to surfaces, toys and food. It also spreads easily in water, including chlorinated swimming pools. When the cysts are swallowed, the person becomes infected.”
To help prevent Crypto, DOH-Pinellas advises residents to practice proper hand hygiene before preparing or eating food; after using the toilet; before and after tending to someone who is ill with diarrhea and after changing diapers.
Swimming pools and hot tubs can be kept free from contamination by not allowing anyone who has experienced a diarrhea illness to enter until at least two weeks after they have completely recovered.