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Cryptosporidiosis cases reported in southeastern Wisconsin

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Cryptosporidiosis cases reported in southeastern Wisconsin

By Erik Bilstad, James Kust, and Annie Scholz. CREATED Sep 27, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep 27, 2013

WHITEFISH BAY - Cases of Cryptosporidiosis have been confirmed in Bayside, Fox Point, and Whitefish Bay, the North Shore Health Department confirmed Friday.

There have been eight diagnosed cases and twelve confirmed cases, according to the Health Department.

One woman, who didn't want to be identified to protect her medical privacy, tells us her symptoms are severe.

"I had fever, I got chills. I vomited once. I’ve had constant diarrhea."

Crypto is uncommon, but it's not unheard of. Health officials usually see about 30 cases a year. What they don't see is this many cases, this quickly, this close together.

Jamie Berg with the North Shore Health Department says they've narrowed it down to a few possible sources, but says none of them are still active threats. But they're concerned enough, they sent a letter to area parents telling them to be on the lookout.

Mark Shapiro is the Executive Director of the JCC in Milwaukee. He says one of their members is one of the people diagnosed, so they immediately activated CDC protocol.

"Cryptosporidium is a word that makes everybody very nervous here in Milwaukee. [We] shut down our pool. We raised our chlorine level to 20 parts per million for 12.75 hours."

There's no indication their pool is the problem, but until health officials figure out what is, those who are sick hope others will be spared.

"It's kind of scary to think about the impact. I'm just praying that everything works out OK"

Whitefish Bay High School announced Friday afternoon its pool would be closed during the weekend, saying "there is a possibility that people have gotten sick for (sic) the pool water." It's unclear whether this is linked to the confirmed Crypto cases.

The most common symptoms of Crypto include stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
Some people with Crypto won't experience any symptoms, according to the CDC. People that are experiencing symptoms will usually see them subside after 1 to 2 weeks.
 
The CDC says the disease is spread through "soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals."
 
20 years ago, a Cryptosporidiosis outbreak killed 100 and sickened about 400,000 people in southeastern Wisconsin.