In recent weeks, more than 452 residents of Tarazona (Zaragoza) and nearby towns have suffered from severe diarrhea and intestinal pain due to the presence of protozoa of the “Cryptosporidium” genus in their tap water.This parasite is resistant to chlorine Contaminated the water of the Queles River, which supplies several municipalities in the Moncayo region The source of infection is currently unknown.The health crisis has resulted in Spain discovers largest gastroenteritis outbreak (and one of the largest in Europe) In addition to the regional capital, it affects Novalas, Los Fayos and Torreras. More than 11,000 people do not have access to tap water for drinking, cooking or oral hygiene, so Turiacen City Council is distributing water cans to residents.
What parasite contaminates the Quayles family? How many cases of gastroenteritis have been recorded so far?When did the problem start?What are the sources of pollution? These are some of the questions we will try to answer.
When did the Tarazona gastroenteritis outbreak begin?
this The first case of gastroenteritis was detected in Tarazona over the weekend of September 9-10 In just two days, they reached 196 affected. The Tarazona City Council banned the use of tap water for cooking and drinking on Monday, September 11, until the origins of the outbreak were known and analysis began, but cases continued to increase, albeit at a slower rate, until the total exceeded 450.
After analyzing the feces and water of the patient, the Ministry of Health of the Government of Aragon announced on September 20 that the analysis confirmed the presence of this protozoa in the waters of the Queles River, thus determining the origin of the disease and identifying the pollution. , eliminate the problem from the source.
Which areas are affected by the epidemic?
As of September 25, 15 days after the first case was officially detected, Towns affected by the tap water ban include Novaras, Los Fayos, Torreras and Tarazona. All four reaches are fed by the Queles River, and cases of gastroenteritis have been recorded in two of them (Tarrazona and Novaras).Turias Mayor Toño Jaray explained on Sunday that disinfection measures taken in the tanks and pipes themselves have allowed Reduce the contamination of this protozoa in public networks, It hasn’t eradicated its presence though, and eight new victims were added last weekend.
this Investigation into the origins of the gastroenteritis outbreak has expanded to several regions in Soria provinceUp the river, professionals from the National Guard and the Ebro Hydrographic Confederation (CHE) have so far not detected any illegal activity that could have caused the accident.
How many cases of this disease have been recorded?
he As of September 25, the total number of confirmed cases of gastroenteritis in Tarazona and neighboring cities was 452, Most of these are located in regional capitals (438) 8 Novaras. Although the incidence of the outbreak has leveled off, public health authorities have been slow to report cases.
Symptoms caused by protozoa are gastroenteritis Mild diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.
What are protozoa? How does it spread?
This gastroenteritis outbreak, the most serious in Spain and one of the largest in Europe, is caused by a protozoa from the following family: Cryptosporidium cannot be eradicated with chlorine.after After an incubation period of up to 12 days, the parasite releases sporozoites and invades intestinal cells, especially cells of the respiratory system. According to the Ministry of Health, since the main source of transmission is the feces of patients, transmission may also occur through contact with contaminated surfaces, drinking contaminated water, or through the fecal-oral route.
this Those most vulnerable to this disease are young children and immunocompromised people. In the regions of Tarazona and Moncayo, the cases were generally mild, but there were some more severe cases requiring hospitalization.
An outbreak of unexplained gastroenteritis
Authorities remain unclear about the source of the contamination accurate focus. As the health department explains, there is evidence the protozoan is in the river. Joaquín Quílez, Professor of Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine A professor at the University of Zaragoza who has been studying this type of microorganisms for thirty years explained to HERALDO that “the most likely source” of the contamination in Quiles could be ““Drawing wastewater or land containing this parasite due to some kind of development” The passage has been reached. However, this is just a guess for now, “There were no traces of illegal dumping or animal carcasses; Earthworks or tree felling can be the cause of river pollution. “Mayor Tarazona said.
Recommendations to avoid the spread of protozoa
Health authorities continue to ban the use of water from the water supply network Consumption, cooking and oral hygiene in Novaras, Los Fayos, Tarazona and Torreras.
- If you boil water for 10 minutes, you can use it to clean utensils and surfaces.
- Can be used for personal hygiene without boiling.
Those who have been infected or are experiencing symptoms consistent with this condition should Take extreme personal hygiene measures Wash your hands, especially after changing an infected child or patient’s diaper within 48 hours after the diarrhea has gone away.This meterThe same period applies to food handling or care in institutions such as inpatient or residential settings. or day care center; and children attending day care centers.
Likewise, those affected are advised Do not go swimming in the swimming pool during this period Two weeks after diarrhea stops They also didn’t have sex. They stress that hands must be cleaned with soap and water rather than using hydroalcoholic gel, which is not useful in these situations.