According to Kamryn Albers mother Kendra Woodruff, what her 15-year-old daughter was suffering from was like nothing she had ever seen before. Kamryn has Down Syndrome, and Crypto can be very difficult for people whose immune systems are already compromised.
For two weeks the teenager slept for 17 hours a day and when she was awake she used to run to the bathroom or double over with pain or throw up in the hospital.
Before rushing to the emergency ward getting tested positive for Crypto and receiving a call from the county nurse, Karen says that she had never heard the name of the disease. And she is having issues with the water parks and public pools not being more active in warning people about the risks associated.
Same is the complaint of Tami Franklin who had taken her daughter to Wet-n-Wild Waterpark at Phoenix. Her daughter had been sick with pain and diarrhea for a fortnight, and the medical bills had amounted to 600. And she had never heard of Crypto before it hit her daughter.
For that is the common name for Cryptosporidium, the parasite that has been affecting the pools of Phoenix since July. While at the beginning of August there were only 19 people down with the disease, with five of them directly relating to recreational water parks, within a week the number reached 32.
By the end of the month more than a 100 people had been affected. Apparently this parasite is a common invader of public water facilities.
Wet-n-Wild has been the only pool to release a statement updating the public about the manner in which it was tackling the outbreak. According to manager Lee Graham, the chlorination levels in the entire park had been raised to a hyperchlorination or shocking protocol, something which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the only thing that can kill the germs.
For normal levels of chlorine cannot kill the Cryptosporidium parasite, which officials believed had affected at least 20 pools in Maricopa County, Arizona, where more than 100 people had been infected with the disease.
The names of the pools have not been released, though much to the irritation of the people especially those who are already bearing the brunt of what they believe to be negligence on the part of the civic officials.
Those facilities have been notified though by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) which is recommending them to follow the guidelines provided by the CDC. This lack of public knowledge has even affected a family in Utah who got sick after visited Phoenix.
There are now some online forums formed by families of those affected by Crypto.
Crypto is spread through fecal matter of an infected person which had somehow been exposed to the pools and people are being advised again not to ingest the pool water.
Not everybody infected with Crypto exhibits the symptoms, which are usually displayed anytime within two to ten days after the infection, usually with watery diarrhea which is the most common one, accompanied by painful stomach cramps, dehydration, vomiting, fever, nausea and weight loss.
People with a healthy immune system can recover within a week or two without going or treatment.
Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, the medical director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health says that there is no foolproof method of detecting the presence of the Crypto parvum in water which it contaminates. The outbreak is affecting the whole community at present, making those who swim at recreational water facilities more vulnerable.
The most important way out available to the public is to stay out of the water if infected with diarrhea at least two weeks after it has subsided. Also, according to Dr. Sunenshine one should contact a healthcare provider if he/ she is suffering from diarrhea for more than ten days where the stool may be accompanied by blood and is having trouble staying hydrated.