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Am J Public Health. 1989 Nov;79(11):1528-30.

Human cryptosporidiosis associated with an epizootic in calves.

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Department of Environmental Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523.


An outbreak of human cryptosporidiosis occurred among previously healthy persons in a veterinary medical teaching hospital. Human illness began after admission of calves from a farm which had been experiencing an epizootic of neonatal diarrhea due to Cryptosporidium. The clinical syndrome in humans was characterized by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, flatulence, and headache. Cryptosporidiosis was confirmed by zinc sulfate flotation of fecal specimens in four persons, three of whom had been responsible for the care and treatment of infected calves. A fourth patient had washed her husband's soiled clothing and appeared to have been infected indirectly through fomite contamination. Among 112 persons surveyed, 26 (23.2 percent) had a diarrheal illness during the outbreak and nine met the case definition of a diarrheal illness lasting at least three days. These persons were more likely to have had contact with a calf with diarrhea than were 52 referents who did not become ill during the outbreak.

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