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As of 13 February 1998, 161 confirmed cases of crytosporidiosis in the Australian Capital Territory had been reported to the Department of Health and Community Care. Approximately 60% of the cases reported to 2 February had swuam in one of two public swimming pools, which have subsequently been closed for cleaning. As of 14 February the New South Wales Health Department had received 126 notifications of cryptosporidiosis since the start of December, compared with 57 for January to November 1997. Cryptosporidium parvum is very resistant to many common disinfectants including chlorine, and it is considered that any swimming pool could become a vehicle for transmitting the infection. Symptoms usually last for about two weeks and include diarrhoea, vomiting and loss of appetite. The infection may be asymptomatic. Further water testing is being conducted and other possible sources are being investigated. Pool managers and child care centres are being asked to discourage attendance by anyone suffering diarrhoea, and people are being advised to pay particular attention to personal hygiene.
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 22 No 2, 19 February 1998.
Communicable Diseases Surveillance
Communicable Diseases Intelligence