Public health advice: Cryptosporidium cases in Marlborough
Blenheim’s Stadium 2000 pool complex has been closed temporarily as a precautionary measure to prevent more cryptosporidium cases.
Seven of the 10 cases reported to the Nelson Marlborough Health Public Health Service have visited the complex. The Public Health Service is looking for other possible sources of contamination given that other areas in New Zealand are reporting higher than usual number of cases.
The Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service and the Marlborough District Council are reminding people not to swim for at least two weeks after an illness with diarrhoea and tummy upset.
“People may not be aware that swimming too soon after being sick with diarrhoea is a risk for passing infection onto other pool users” says Dr Andrew Lindsay, Medical Officer of Health. Dr Lindsay advises people to stay away from swimming pools for two weeks after they have recovered from gastroenteritis to avoid infecting others.
Cryptosporidium is most often spread by hands contaminated with faeces during toilet use or nappy changing. From hands it can spread to surfaces, toys, food and water. It also spreads in shared water such as swimming pools where the Cryptosporidium may be swallowed.
Symptoms may include large amounts of watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Lack of appetite, fever, nausea and vomiting sometimes occur. People with weak immune systems, particularly those with HIV, can have severe and life threatening illness.
The best way to prevent cryptosporidiosis infection is to always practice good hand washing and drying after using the toilet, changing nappies and before preparing or eating food. And remember not to share bugs by avoiding swimming pools while sick and for two weeks after symptoms stop.
For concerns relating to your health (non-emergency) please contact:
Your general practitioner, afterhours service or Healthline 0800 61116
For swimming pool enquiries, the public can contact: Stadium 2000 Aquatic Pools: 03 577 8300
Media enquiries: Stadium 2000 Trust CEO Paul Tredinnick: 021 501 959.