30 Jun 2022

Advice issued to Longford parents following large increase in potentially serious tummy bug

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has issued advice to parents

Advice issued to Longford parents following large increase in potentially serious tummy bug

There has been an increase in the incidence of the potentially serious tummy bug in recent weeks

The HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) says there has been a large increase in a potentially serious tummy bug in children over the last few weeks.

As a result, the HPSC is providing advice to Longford parents about preventing cryptosporidiosis.

HPSC specialist in Public Health Medicine, Dr Paul McKeown said: “Since the beginning of March, the number of cases of cryptosporidiosis has more than doubled in comparison to the average rates, especially in small children aged one to four years of age.
“When children spend time outdoors and in particular on farms, they are more likely to pick up this bug and it is important they wash their hands regularly with soap under warm running water.”

“Cryptosporidiosis is spread when the bug passes from the person or animal in the stools or manure, and anything contaminated by the stools or manure - hands, touch surfaces, handles, food, water and outdoor surfaces - can lead to a person becoming infected."
There is a factsheet to assist parents on the HPSC website 

Meanwhile, parents are asked to ensure that they and their children follow this advice: 
Hands should always be washed:
·       After using the toilet
·       Before eating
·       Before preparing food
·       After playing, working or being outside (especially on the farm)
·       After touching dirty outdoor clothes or boots
·       After touching  pets, livestock and other animals

It is important to know that:
·       Alcohol hand gel will not kill the cryptosporidiosis bug – only soap and warm water will.
·       Children should not eat food (including sweets and treats) out of doors especially on the farm, or in the open countryside, unless their hands have been cleaned.
·       Raw (unpasteurised) milk can be contaminated with many harmful infectious diseases including cryptosporidiosis. Young children and pregnant women are at most risk.  
·       If you have a private well, you should ensure that the water from it is safe.  The EPA has advice on protecting your well.
Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis generally begin about a week after swallowing the bug, but can start after only a couple of days.  The symptoms last about one week but can last longer. People who are immunocompromised (whose body’s defence system is weak due to a medical condition or because of medication) can have severe symptoms if they catch cryptosporidiosis.

The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhoea. Other symptoms include:
·       Stomach cramps or pain
·       A temperature
·       Nausea
·       Vomiting
Some people with cryptosporidiosis will not get sick at all.


To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.