La Crosse County health officials warn public after outbreak of cryptosporidiosis

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Health officials in La Crosse County are warning the public to be careful after multiple cases of the disease cryptosporidiosis have been reported.

"Cryptosporidiosis is a parasite that is commonly associated with animals, so farming. So in Wisconsin it's always a concern, so it's shed in cow feces and sometimes it can get into the water supply," said Gundersen Health System Infection Preventionist Megan Meller.

Crypto, for short, can be caught by anybody but can affect people who are pregnant or have a susceptible immune system more severely.

The La Crosse health department says it is not a common disease they see.

"When we get more than two unrelated people that have symptoms and are diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, then we have what we call an outbreak. And so in this case we have more than two, we have four cases in La Crosse County and then we have four more state-wide that are related to our cases here in La Crosse County," said La Crosse Health Department Environmental Health and Land Manager Carol Drury.

People who are sick with crypto usually experience symptoms for one to two weeks, which include abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, and a fever among others.

The health department says they believe they have identified the source of the current outbreak, which was spread through an animal.

"Those people that are dealing with animals, going and visiting animals, going to petting zoos, we're gonna come up to the fair time, just to take those precautions. Outer clothing, protective outer clothing, and then washing your hands with soap and water immediately after interaction with them," said Drury.

If you are experiencing any symptoms related to Cryptosporidiosis, call your doctor or your local health department.

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