Dangerous Illness on the Rise in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/26/08

Dangerous Illness on the Rise in Lubbock

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It sounds like something from a Superman movie but it is actually a bad bug on the increase in Lubbock.  Cryptosporidiosis is of no concern to healthy adults.  However, to young children or anyone with a serious, chronic illness, cryptosporidiosis can lead to fatal complications like rapid dehydration. 

The Lubbock Health Department says that they have seen an increase in August to 11 cases compared with eight cases in all of last year.  The illness is spread by stool contact and the health department says most of the cases in Lubbock this year have been traced to people who were exposed in other areas of the state.

Even though summer is ending, if you were exposed, your symptoms could still show up 10 days later.

Lubbock Health Department Investigator, Judy Davis, R.N., says, "The main symptom is diarrhea, & that is often watery, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of not being well, muscle aches, and fever are also symptoms.  In addition, she adds that, "One of the unusual things about cryptosporidiosis as a disease is that once you are finished having diarrhea, you can still shed that parasite in your stool for two weeks.  So we recommend that folks not go swimming in a public area for at least two weeks after a diarrheal illness".

The health department says pregnant women who think they might have been exposed should talk to their doctor because there is medication to treat the illness.

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