reports that the six children living in a well-defined, relatively small corner of Belgium, Wisconsin who were infected with E. coli O157:H7 had related infections with other dangerous bugs, including Cryptosporidium and Clostridium difficile. 

Cryptosporidium parvum (also known as "Crypto") is a parasite that is too small to be seen with the naked eye. It is found in water and food sources contaminated with the feces of infected humans, cattle, and other mammals. The infectious form of the parasite, known as an "oocyst," is highly resistant to the levels of chlorine normally found in drinking water and swimming pools.

Symptoms of Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidiosis, the infection caused by ingestion of the Cryptosporidium parasite, causes painful abdominal cramping and profuse, watery diarrhea. In addition to diarrhea, symptoms of infection are fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis appear an average of seven days after oocysts are swallowed, and normally last for two weeks or less in healthy adults. People with compromised immune systems (those with diabetes, receiving cancer treatments, who have received organ transplants, or are infected with HIV/AIDS), the elderly, pregnant women, and small children are more likely to become infected, and will suffer more severe illnesses than healthy adults. In some cases, Cryptosporidiosis can be life-threatening, especially when those infected become dehydrated.

Detection and Treatment of CryptosporidiumContinue Reading Cryptosporidium part of the Belgium, Wisconsin E. coli cluster

Fox 6 News in Milwaukee reported today that the state of Wisconsin, with the aid of local health authorities, is investigating 6 E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Belgium, Wisconsin.  Wisconsin has been hit hard by E. coli before.  Why is it that some states–Minnesota, Utah, and a list of 3 or 4 others–seem to be involved in many