Around 800 Danes were diagnosed last year with a small single-celled intestinal parasite called Cryptosporidium, which can cause severe diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, and possibly nausea.
This information was provided in a press release by the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).
According to the SSI, there has been a significant increase compared to previous years. The reason for the higher number of new cases is likely due to the implementation of more systematic analysis of fecal samples in the clinical microbiological departments at hospitals in Slagelse, Odense, Herlev, and Aalborg.
Cryptosporidium appears to be much more common in the population than previously assumed. This creates a diverse population of parasites, and the sources of infection and transmission pathways are currently poorly understood. Although not a notifiable disease, the SSI monitors the development through the samples received.
If infected with Cryptosporidiosis, the illness can last for a few weeks but usually resolves on its own and is generally harmless.
Previously, infection sources have been found among calves, but humans can also get infected through rodents. There are currently no vaccines available against the parasite, according to the SSI.