Health officials are reporting four cases of cryptosporidiosis in La Crosse County in the past few weeks.
The La Crosse County Health Department said four additional cases were reported in the state which were connected to the exposure in the county.
Cryptosporidiosis is a caused by a protozoan parasite found in the feces of domestic animals and humans the county said. Among its symptoms are diarrhea, cramping, nausea, headaches, and fever. People who are infected can shed the parasite in their stool for several weeks.
It can be passed from contaminated drinking water, drinking raw milk, from animal to person, or from person to person via food handling.
“You can help,” County Environmental Health Manager Carol Drury, RS, states, “by being aware that Cryptosporidiosis is occurring and by taking simple measures to reduce your risk.”
Drury said prevention measures include:"avoiding sick animals, wearing protective outer clothing and boots when visiting farms, and washing your hands immediately after interacting with animals (at farms, petting zoos at festivals- farmers markets - libraries, and field trips). Proper and immediate hand washing can stop the cycle of transmission.
In a statement, county health staff are working to contact infected persons in an effort to limit the spread of the parasite.