Rare disease behind Tarazona gastroenteritis outbreak

The presence a rare parasite – Protozoa of the genus Cryptosporidium – Bacteria in Tarazona water responsible for gastroenteritis outbreak that has infected more than 230 people. The Ministry of Health emphasized on Thursday: “These oocysts – a fertilized egg surrounded by a cyst wall – are present in the intestinal tract of humans or livestock and may contaminate water and lead to community outbreaks.” On Friday, Turi Members of Assen Town Council will meet with public health officials to determine the necessary measures to eliminate any remaining contamination-causing protozoa from the supply network. at the same time, Neighbors will continue not to use oral water for drinking, cooking and even dental hygiene.

According to the health department, current wastewater purification and drinking water purification systems “do not always pose sufficient barriers to the survival of protozoan oocysts,” “Very resistant to chlorine treatment”. So, while it has been a very rare condition in recent years, it is now considered a possible “emerging disease.”

Thanks to its detection happening Given that all parameters measured in the water gave “correct values”, the feces of the affected people were analyzed. In this way, the possibility of high-chlorine disinfection of the water is completely ruled out, which would even prohibit its use for matters such as personal hygiene or cleaning clothes.

In this sense, Joaquín Quílez, professor of animal health at the University of Zaragoza, points out that detecting it in water It is necessary to filter a lot of liters – in one paper they filtered up to 100 liters – and you also have to use a filter “specific” and resorted to “antibody staining” tools. They had been studying cryptosporidiosis for years in veterinary school but eventually abandoned the process due to a lack of funding.

Quiles noted that these cases are uncommon in developed countries and When they occur, it’s usually associated with day care centers. Transmission can occur through direct contact with feces – both humans and animals, especially ruminants -, through water, through consumption of food irrigated with contaminated water and even in swimming pools, “because they will resist for weeks if not eliminated “.

Goal: Stop the spread

For its solution, it states, To reduce contamination, it is necessary to understand the source and determine whether it is human or animal. Once discovered, it should be corrected, day after day, until there are no more oocysts in the water. “Really the only effective tool is ultraviolet light, But few water treatment plants have this system. There is another very effective method, based on ozone purification, which requires a lot of infrastructure and is less common,” he points out.

Remember, in healthy people The illness usually occurs without severe diarrhea and subsides after a few days. Must be more careful when this happens in crowds Immunocompromisedbecause the amount of defense is so low“The parasite lasts longer and may cause intractable diarrhea and even death.”. Furthermore, one of the biggest problems it poses is that “there is no good treatment.” “Often some antibiotics are used, but they are not completely effective treatments. In the veterinary field, the problem is the same,” he stresses.

Since Monday, the Tarazona City Council and the Public Health Department have maintained a ban on the use of saliva for drinking and cooking, as infections grew exponentially in just a few hours. So the city council, in partnership with Mercadona and the Red Cross, started distributing water bottles. More than 200 liters of water have been delivered to 13 families so far. According to city government sources, the measure will remain in effect until oral water is approved for drinking, but there is no specific date yet.


For now, they say from the health department, the use of water from the supply network for consumption, cooking and oral hygiene is still prohibited.Apart fromIf you want to use it to clean utensils and surfaces, you need to boil it for at least 10 minutes. Yes, it can be used for personal hygiene, that is, showering.

Public health authorities have also expanded restrictions for people who are infected or showing similar symptoms. In these cases, They require extreme personal hygiene and hand-washing measures, Especially after changing a child’s or infected patient’s diaper within 48 hours after the diarrhea has gone away.The same time is also used to handle the food or care of hospitalized patients or people in institutions such as residences or day care centers; and for what purpose Children who go to daycare also join in the fun.

Likewise, it is recommended Affected people should not swim in swimming pools for the next two weeks. Stop diarrhea and stop having sex. They stress that hands must be cleaned with soap and water rather than using hydroalcoholic gel, which is not useful in these situations.

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