Urgent health warning following Irish parasite outbreak

Health chiefs have warned of a new parasite outbreak with severe symptoms and long-lasting effects.

According to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, 120 cases of Cryptosporidium were reported in 2022 – 29 of which were identified two weeks ago.

29 cases of Cryptosporidium have been found in Ireland

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29 cases of Cryptosporidium have been found in Ireland

Cryptosporidium is a parasitic disease found primarily in animal feces.

Humans can become infected through contact with farm animals or their surroundings, by drinking water contaminated with animal feces, or by touching contaminated objects before touching the face.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headaches, and can lead to outbreaks of gastroenteritis and have long-lasting effects on those with compromised immune systems.

The 29 cases of Cryptosporidium were found across the country but mostly in the south, with 10 reported in the region.



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There was only one in the East, two in the Midlands and Northeast, and four in the Midwest and Northwest.

Three Cryptosporidium cases have been reported in the south east of Ireland, as well as in the west.

Most cases occur in younger age groups, especially babies and young children, with only one person over the age of 45 getting sick.

About 12 children under the age of four reported having cryptosporidia, eight young people between the ages of five and 19 and eight people in the age group of 20 to 34 identified cases.

Public health officials have issued an urgent alert following the reported cases of Cryptosporidium.

Washing hands with hot water and soap is the most effective way to ensure hand hygiene, while alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not effective against cryptosporidia.

Public Health Mid-West tells RTE: “As petting zoo season begins, there is an increased risk of exposure to Cryptosporidium, especially among children. That’s why effective handwashing is crucial.”


The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis — the disease caused by cryptosporidia — is watery diarrhea. Other symptoms are:

  • dehydration
  • weight loss
  • stomach cramps or pain
  • fever
  • nausea
  • Vomit

But some people with cryptosporidiosis have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis generally begin two to 10 days – but on average seven days – after contracting the parasite.


In the meantime, norovirus cases are slowly on the rise in Ireland – after Covid-19 slowed the spread of winter vomiting.

The Health Protection Surveillance Center confirmed that 17 new cases of noroviral infection were detected in the week ended March 26.

And in 2022, 137 confirmed infections have been reported so far.

The 137 cases so far this year compares starkly with just 14 cases at the same time last year when Ireland was in a Covid lockdown and schools were closed – a 123 per cent rise this year.

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Irish parents have been urged to watch out for symptoms – and keep hands clean with soap and water as hand sanitizer isn’t effective against norovirus.

People are being instructed to stay at home if they have symptoms and not return to work or send children to school until 48 hours after all symptoms have resolved.

https://www.thesun.ie/health/8614419/urgent-health-warning-parasitic-outbreak-cryptosporidium-symptoms/ Urgent health warning following Irish parasite outbreak

Fry Electronics Team

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