'Crypto' fecal-parasite cases on the rise in Marion County

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — There is an increase in crypto fecal-parasite cases in Marion County.

In just the month of May, Marion County saw 18 confirmed cases compared to eight at that point last year. There were 30 confirmed cases in all of 2018.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes cryptosporidiosis, "a profuse, watery diarrhea that can last up to three weeks in immunocompetent patients and can lead to life-threatening malnutrition and wasting in immunocompromised patients."

The parasite can be transmitted by ingestion of contaminated recreational water, drinking water, food or through contact with infected persons or animals.

The effects can be worse for children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

"The number of treated recreational water-associated outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium drives the summer seasonal peak in both waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks overall," according to a statement from the CDC.

The CDC recommends not swimming or attending child care if you've had diarrhea and not swimming for an additional two weeks after diarrhea has resolved.

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