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North Shore Crypto count holding at 19

Person-to-person contact could increase spread

Oct. 9, 2013

After announcing two new cases of Cryptosporidiosis Monday, the North Shore Health Department has reported no new cases. As of press time Wendesday, the count remained at 19 confirmed cases in the North Shore in the last month.

Based on interviews with no-longer-symptomatic North Shore residents, NSHD has also reported 14 probable cases, though the department said in a news release that it will no longer report probable cases "because the State of Wisconsin has given us new classifications."

The department expects an increase in the number of cases as result of person-to-person contact, which, alongside effected individuals using area pools, is believed to be a primary contributor to the outbreak.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite, commonly spread through water or food, which can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and dehydration. According to the national Centers for Disease Control, symptoms usually begin within 2 to 10 days of exposure and typically last one to two weeks.

The majority of cases have come from Whitefish Bay with several in Fox Point and Bayside. Berg said several Crypto sufferers swam at either the Whitefish Bay High School swimming pool or the Jewish Community Center pools, also in Whitefish Bay. The JCC closed its pools last week for a 10-day period and has taken extensive precautions, including "supershock" chlorine treatments, draining, replacement of aquatics equipment and toys, and regrouting of pool gutters. The high school treated and reopened its pool early last week.

The North Shore Water Commission, which provides drinking water to Whitefish Bay, Glendale, Fox Point and Bayside, has repeatedly confirmed that water leaving its facility is clean and safe to drink.

Berg said NSHD is working with other area pools, schools and daycares to help prevent the spread of Crypto.

NSHD encourages anyone with Crypto symptoms, especially diarrhea, to stay home from work or school and to get tested by their doctors or by submitting a stool sample to NSHD. Anyone who has exhibited symptoms should not swim until at least 14 days after their last bout of diarrhea.

North Shore residents can contact NSHD with questions or request a stool sample collection kit by calling (414) 371-2980. Kits are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Shorewood office, 2010 East Shorewood Blvd., and Brown Deer office, 4800 West Green Brook Drive.

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