Cryptosporidium


     What we as a society do collectively to assure the conditions in which people
can live productive and vigorous lives. Public Health does things that benefit
everyone. It also prevents illness and educates the population. Public Health is
a combination of science, practical skills and beliefs that is directed to the
maintenance and improvement of the health of people. The science and art of
preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical health and efficiency
through organized community efforts. Cryptosporidium Parvum has been recognized
as a human pathogen since 1976. During 1976-1982, the disease was reported
rarely and occurred predominantly in immunocompromised persons. In 1982, the
number of reported cases began to increases as a result of acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Cryptosporidium Parvum is a one-cell parasite,
which cause the disease Cryptosporidiosis. Cryptosporidiosis is an intestinal
illness caused by a microscopic parasite called cryptosporidium. The parasite is
transmitted by ingestion of oocysts excreted in the feces of infected humans or
animals. The infection can therefore be transmitted from person-to-person,
through ingestion of contaminated water or food, from animal to person, or by
contact with fecally contaminated environmental surfaces. Cryptosporidium can be
found on clothing, bedding, or other things used by infected persons, such
person with diarrhea or children in diapers. Sex that may involve contact with
stool, especially oral sex, can also pass cryptosporidia. The stool of domestic
and farm animals, especially animals less than six months old or animals with
diarrhea, can contain cryptosporidium. Individuals should always wash their
hands after touching animals or cleaning up their stool or visiting barns and
areas where these animals live. Also in women, when cleaning yourself after
movement of bowels, wipe front to back to avoid fecal contact with the vagina
and urethra. The most common symptom is diarrhea, which is usually watery which
is often accompanied by abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, headache
and loss or appetite may also occur. Some people with cryptosporidium may be
asymptomatic. The incubation period may range from one to twelve days with an
average of seven days. Sources of crypto are; people, cows, cats, mice, turkeys,
chickens, monkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits, fish, reptiles, opossums, and birds.

As of November 16,1999 cryptosporidium parvum effected thirty six people within
the state of New Jersey; 2 in Atlantic county, 4 in Bergen county, 5 in

Burlington county, 5 in Camden county, 2 in Cape may, 2 in Essex county, 1 in

Hudson county, 1 in Hunterton county, 4 in Middlesex county, 4 in Monmouth
county, 2 in Morris county, 2 in Ocean county, 2 in Passaic county, 2 in Union
county, and 1 in Sussex county. The most common transmission for these effected
persons in NJ is person to person contact, fecal to oral contact, and homosexual
males. No one has every died from this illness In NJ but some of theses people
have been hospitalized for observation and to be exact it is not something else.

Day care centers have to be exceptionally careful because of younger children
who wear diapers. Changing a baby who may be infected can make the handler at
risk if the fecal matter was meet. In 1994 there was a reported 2, 070 estimated
cases in Lake Nummy, NJ suspected cause was from contaiminated shallow Lake
park. Today there is no vaccination or medicine for this illness. If infected,
contact your medical practitioner for immediate diagnosis. There are precautions
that we as a community can do. As a community we can: ? Use a water
filter; unless it is distilled or pasteurized, bottled water may not be any
safer than tap water. Using a water filter that has the words "reverse
osmosis" on the label protect against crypto. Some "absolute 1 micron" and
most "nominal 1 micron" filters will not work against crypto. ?

Boiling water for at least one minute with a rolling boil will kill
cryptosporidium. ? Properly drilled and maintained wells that utilize
underground water are generally protected from surface contaminattion and are
unlikely to contain cryptosporidium oocysts. ? Practice safer sex.
(Rimming) kissing or licking the anus. ? Be careful when swimming in
lakes, rivers, or pools, and when using hot tubs. ? Avoid touching farm
animals and stool of pets. ? Wash hands thoroughly before and after
handling food. ? Food that would be eaten uncooked should be washed well,
peel skin off, and then eaten. ? Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk
or dairy products. There have been numerous outbreaks of crypto but the one that
effected the most people was in Milwaukee. In 1993 cryptosporidiosis affected
more than 400,000 people. I believe that cryptosporidium parvum is in the scope
of public health because it efffect the community as a whole. In order not
receive this sickly illness the community has to come together and take
precautions not only in the house but also in schools, play grounds, work place,
and after school programs. In a community we look out for each other so it would
be helpful to contact the FDA, and Safe Water Drinking department in their
community. The most important question that pops in my mind is how to elevate
more outbreaks in NJ? First the government could examine the illness more to
find out exactly where the parasite is developed and maybe from that point it
can be eradicated. If that does not work we as a society can only take
precautions as I mentioned above, use water filters, do not touch stool of any
kind, and boil water for at least one minute with a rolling boil. Because it is
a water born illness and a very intricate malady, I can not pin point a main
proposal to maybe eradicate this sickness. From learning about the disease and
talking to people who are studying it, I gathered that the only possible step to
avoid this affliction is by using precautionary measures (such as those
mentioned above).

Bibliography

1. New Jersey State Health Department 1-800-367-6543 Mrs. Mary Jane Hung and

Dr. Sorsage 2. Safe Drinking Water Act 1-609-292-5550 Steve Pudney 3.

"Cryptosporidiosis: Fact Sheet". Center For Disease Control and Prevention.

28 May.1998. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/crypto/cryptos.htm 4.

"Cryptosporidiosis: Control and Prevention". Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention. 28 May.1998. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/disease/crypto/control.htm

5. Juronek, D. Dennis. "Cryptosporidiosis: Sources of Infection and Guidelines
for Prevention". 28 May. 1998. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/disease/crypto/sources.htm

6. "Cryptosporidiosis". Cryptosporidiosis. 9 May.1998. Avaiable: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/crypto.htm

7. "Cryptosporidiosis". New York State Department of Health Communicable

Disease Fact Sheet. February 1999. Available: http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdon/consumer/crypto.htm

8. "Waterborne/foodborne outbreaks of Cryptosporidium parvum".

Cryptosporidium in the Environment. 4 September.1999. Available: http://www.ksu.edu/parasitology/water

9. "Jersey City Water Consumer Confidence Report". City of Jersey City. 15

January.1999. Available: http://www.city.com/water/waterccr101599.html 10.

"Foodborne Outbreak of Diarrheal Illness Associated with Cryptosporidium
parvun—Minnesota, 1995". Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report. 13 September.

1996. Available; http://www- micro.msb.le.ac.uk/others/FDA/~mow/crypto2.html 11.

"Assessing the Public Health Threat Associated with Waterborne

Cryptosporidiosis: Report of a Workshop". Assessing Public Health Threat Assc.
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