COLUMBUS (WCMH) -- It's an important warning for parents. Crypto cases jumped in just the last couple of weeks. Columbus health officials are now reporting 423 cases of Cryptosporidium.
"The last time we've had an outbreak even close to this number was in 2008 when we had 343 cases," said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Medical Director at Columbus Public Health.
Health departments across Columbus, Franklin and Delaware Counties are seeing more and more patients being treated for the highly contagious disease.
"If you have someone that has a compromised immune system gets diarrhea and is very dehydrated it can cause some kidney problems. We have had some people that needed to be hospitalized because they were dehydrated," Roberts says.
The outbreak started in July. Recreational swimming facilities were encouraged to add extra chlorine to pools to battle back.
Now with the majority of pools closing after Labor Day, health official are worried Crypro could spread to day cares and schools.
"We are really seeing this across the spectrum. We are single and young kids that are diaper kids, we're seeing it in kindergartners on up," Roberts says.
The Barrington School in Hilliard already put precautionary measures in place to eliminate Crypto from spreading.
"We put a few policies in place and the first thing we did was we changed our policy on loose stools," says Hana Hales, Director of the Barrington School's Hilliard location.
Parents who notice their child might be sick must contact their pediatrician right away. If there are other symptoms, like vomiting, the child must get tested for Crypto.
The child can then only return to the day care after the doctor gives the all clear
"If the doctor determines that the child has no other symptoms of Crypto, then they can write us to know and we will let them come back to childcare the next day," said Hales. "Safety is number one. We have to protect these children, they are with us all day and they rely on us to be their protection. "
Symptoms can last up to a week.
"But the thing to know is they can shed the germ in their stool after the diarrhea has stopped," said Roberts.
Here are some ways you can help eliminate the spread of Crypto in your home:
- Step up your house cleaning
- Use bathroom cleaning solutions with bleach and chlorine
- Don't prepare food if you're sick
- If someone in your house is sick, have them use a separate bathroom