7 February, 2024

Gastro rips through region

The West Moreton Public Health Unit is urging caution due to a rise in Cryptosporidiosis cases, a contagious form of gastroenteritis.

Gastro rips through region - feature photo

The most common symptoms are watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Other symptoms may include fever, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

Dr Penny Hutchinson from West Moreton’s Public Health Unit said it wasn’t uncommon to see increased cases of Cryptosporidiosis during the warmer months of the year.

“Warm weather means more time in public pools and lakes,” she said.

“If someone infected with cryptosporidium goes swimming, the germs in their bowel may accidentally spread to others in the water.

“Simple steps like showering before or after swimming, avoiding swallowing the water, changing nappies away from swimming areas, and washing your hands often, particularly after using the bathroom or before eating, can help protect yourself and others.”

Dr Penny said symptoms usually only last a few days in young healthy children, but if you were immunocompromised, it could take longer.

“There is no specific treatment for cryptosporidiosis, but the best way to manage it is to drink drinking plenty of fluids, to avoid dehydration,” she said.

“Children with diarrhoea should not return to childcare or school until diarrhoea has ceased for 24 hours.

Food handlers and health care workers should also stay away from work until two days after diarrhoea has ceased.

“People with cryptosporidiosis can spread the germ even after symptoms have settled, so it is important that they don’t go swimming while they have diarrhoea and for two weeks after diarrhoea has stopped."


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