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THE HSE and Environmental Health officers are investigating water contamination after two local kids were hospitalised with cryptosporidium.

THE HSE and Environmental Health officers are investigating water contamination after two local kids were hospitalised with cryptosporidium.

Two siblings from the wider Drumshanbo area contracted cryptosporidiosis, a waterborne disease, over two weeks ago which resulted in their hospitalisation.

Both children had symptoms of a tummy bug with vomiting and high temperatures and dehydration. The first child was hospitalised after her heart rate was found to be abnormally high. Five days later the 4 and a half-year-old was diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis. Her older brother (6 and a half -year-old) was hospitalised with similar symptoms a few days later.

This parasitic disease affects the intestines and is spread through the fecal-oral route, often through contaminated water.

The symptoms are particularly severe and often fatal. The parasite cannot be treated, only the symptoms are treated as the parasite travels through the body, before leaving. The parasite can live in the body for up to two weeks without any major symptoms. Both siblings were on drips in hospital.

The HSE and Environmental Health officers are retracing the footsteps of the children and are investigating water sources in the Drumshanbo area and outside of the county.

The HSE informed the paper “When a case of cryptosporidiosis is notified, the HSE then follow up by identifying how the person contracted the infection, assessing if anyone else is at risk, and taking any necessary action to stop other people from being infected.”

They advise that “if anyone in your house is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea, the toilet and other areas should be cleaned and disinfected after use.

The mother of the hospitalised children told the paper that this disease can be “dangerous” in young children and old people, but her children are recovering. One is still being treated in hospital.