Lucas County sees jump in parasite illness

Toledo It might feel and look like the stomach bug and lots of people in Lucas County are coming down with what’s turned out to be a parasite.

Lucas County health officials are seeing nearly four times the amount of cryptosporidium just this year.

Briana Walter looks and feels pretty good these days after a bout with the cryptosporidium. It started with her son.

"My son at first started complaining he had a headache, telling us he didn't feel good. And then in seconds he got really sick," said Walter. “Then all of the sudden I was having these horrible abdominal pains where I can hardly stand up straight."

The symptoms look like stomach flu: vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, fever. To date the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has found 91 patients suffering from it, last year at this time that number was 28.

"It usually comes from contaminated water so you maybe go swimming in a pool that's contaminated, that's why we have the pool rules. Or it might be a lake," said Eric Zgodzinski with the Toledo Lucas County Health Department.

As you can imagine that makes lots of people jump to a lake and now a river coated with green algae right now. So is there a link? The health department says no.

"If that was the case we'd have 100000 people be sick so that is not happening here," said Zgodzinski. “We all can't be getting sick. We don’t know any of these people. What are the chances that all these cases are happening. It has to originate from something and its originating from somewhere."

Health investigators have not established any link between the cases yet but they say they're trying.

"It might be one interview that we might do today where we might be able to pickup where the common thread is," said Zgodzinski.

As a comparison, Wood County only has 6 cases so far this year. They had 12 this time last year.