Swedish officials are investigating a recent increase in reported cases of Cryptosporidium.
A total of 61 people have been confirmed as being infected by the same certain type of Cryptosporidium parvum. These people fell ill from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10 and live in 10 different regions of the country.
Of confirmed cases, 41 are women and 20 are men. They are aged between 11 and 86 years old with an average age of 44.
There are another 98 possible infections that have been reported within the same period and some of these may also belong to the outbreak.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) said the increase is under investigation but could be caused by food with wide distribution in the country.
Local infection control units, the Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) and Folkhälsomyndigheten are investigating the outbreak to identify the source of infection.
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that, if ingested, can cause cryptosporidiosis. Transmission occurs mainly through contact with contaminated water but can be via food or exposure to infected animals or water contaminated by the feces of infected animals.
The main symptom is watery diarrhea, which can range from mild to severe. It is often accompanied by stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, fever, and sometimes dehydration and weight loss. Symptoms usually appear two to 10 days after infection and last one to two weeks.