"Cryptosporin epidemic in and around Grasse: don't drink tap water …" The information, released by Grassroots, has gone viral on social networks. It's captured and shared on Facebook, especially in the "You Know It's Grasse When …" group, where comments and warnings have been doing well since Thursday.
And that's not intoxicating, as Professor Pierre Marty, head of the parasitology department of Nice University Hospital and the Regional Health Agency (ARS) confirms: the cryptosporidium parasite rages between Var and the western Maritime Alps. The symptoms? Carbohydrate diarrhea and severe stomach pain that can last several days.
An infection due to a parasite
Note, however, the name of the disease: cryptosporidiosis (not "cryptosporin" as it is read on social networks). The ARS reported Friday 38 reported cases between October 7 and November 12.
But what is cryptosporidiosis, a disease the public hasn't heard much about so far?
"It is an infection of the digestive tract due to a parasite, cryptosporidium, says the LRA in a statement sent Friday. This parasite is present in the environment. The infection rate ranges from 0.6% to 2% in industrialized countries. "
We recovered more or less quickly
"This is a little known parasite in humans until the 1980s.says Professor Pierre Marty, contacted by Nice-morning. Veterinarians, on the other hand, know him well, because he is responsible for diarrhea in children and calves. In the 1980s, we began to have cases in humans showing a decline in immunity. Pathology, as in animals, mainly causes diarrhea and stomachache. In principle, there is direct or indirect contact with diarrheal animals. "
For a healthy person, healing is spontaneous. Although sometimes symptoms can last several weeks, notes the ARS.
On the other hand, in an immunocompromised person, the infection may be more severe and require medical treatment.
Midweek search result
Why this beginning of the epidemic in Grasse, where the first case was detected, as confirmed by Pierre Marty, whose service is the reference center in the region? "Would the heavy rains of the last days have shaken the earth?" asks Professor Nice.
"Investigations are underway to determine the exact source of the contamination," explains the ARS, which is responsible for investigating the resources that supply drinking water networks in the west of the department, to determine possible water contamination.
Meanwhile, "Research is also being conducted to detect possible failures during construction work or interventions that could alter the pipelines. The results of the analyzes will be available in the middle of next week."says the Regional Health Agency.
Controlled tap water
To the question: can we drink tap water? The ARS replies that, pending the results of the investigations, the production and distribution of drinking water remains under surveillance and control: "So far, no anomalies have been revealed, so there is no restriction on tap water consumption."
ARS recommends in case of persistent diarrhea, "Consult your physician for possible further analysis and to adapt treatment according to your health condition."
Information that the municipality of Grasse obviously transmitted on its own networks.
Note: The parasite is bleach resistant, but doesn't like ozone treated water, according to Pierre Marty.