Media Release - 10/03/10
Canterbury District Health Board’s Community and Public Health division is trying to identify the source of the cryptosporidium outbreak. There have been 57 confirmed cases of cryptosporidium in Christchurch this year.
Cryptosporidium symptoms can last for a few days to several
weeks. The illness usually settles on its own with
“The source of the disease may be farm animals or contaminated water or person to person spread,” Medical Officer of Health Dr Ramon Pink said. “Typically we see an increase in the Spring associated with farming activities. We are concentrating our efforts around the confirmed cases in metropolitan Christchurch but no one source has been identified as yet.”
He said it was essential for people who have had a diarrhoeal
illness to stay out of public swimming pools, school swimming
pools, or private pools, for at least two weeks after symptoms
have settled, to reduce the risk of further spread. “With the
current run of fine weather, and with schools holding their
swimming sports days, it is
important parents do not allow their children to swim within two weeks of having diarrhoea.”
The Community and Public Health team will be interviewing all people with confirmed cryptosporidiosis over the next few days and analysing the data in an attempt to identify a common source. The results will be available later this week, but Dr. Pink said it may be difficult to identify the exact source.
For more information, contact CDHB Communications Manager Michele Hider on 027 531 4796.