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The British Army is defeated… by diarrhea!  A parasite sickens 172 soldiers stationed in Kenya<!-- wp:html --><div> <p><strong>The outbreak in Nanyuki was the largest ever reported by the military worldwide </strong><br /> <strong>Cryptosporidiosis is often transmitted through contaminated water and food and in swimming pools. </strong></p> <p class="author-section byline-plain">By Emily Stearn, Mailonline health reporter </p> <p class="byline-section"><span class="article-timestamp article-timestamp-published"> <span class="article-timestamp-label">Published:</span> 09:47 EST, January 29, 2024 </span> | <span class="article-timestamp article-timestamp-updated"> <span class="article-timestamp-label">Updated:</span> 10:01 EST, January 29, 2024 </span> </p> <p> <!-- ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/health/none/article/other/para_top.html --> <!-- CWV --><!--[if !IE]>>--> <!-- <!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]>>--> <!--<!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]>>--> <!--<!--[if gte IE 8]>>--> <!-- <!--[if IE 8]>--></p> <p> <!--[if IE 9]>--></p> <p> <!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]> --> <!--</p> <p> <!-- SiteCatalyst code version: H.20.3. Copyright 1997-2009 Omniture, Inc. More info available at http://www.omniture.com --> </p> <p> <!-- End SiteCatalyst code version: H.20.3. --> <!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]> --> <!--<!--[if IE]>--></p> <p> <!--[if !IE]> --> <!-- <!-- CWV --></p> <div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Dozens of British Army personnel stationed in Kenya have fallen ill in a diarrhea outbreak of unprecedented magnitude. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">One hundred and seventy-two soldiers fell ill at the Nanyuki barracks between February and April 2022, almost a fifth of the 1,200 soldiers active there at the time. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Some had to fight their illness for more than a week. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Military doctors believe this is the first outbreak of Cryptosporidium in the history of the British Army.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Cryptosporidium, which can cause vomiting, stomach pains and fever, can survive in water for up to a week. </p> <p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">The outbreak is the largest ever reported by the military worldwide. At first, health officials were baffled as to the origin of the outbreak. But investigations revealed that most cases could be attributed to contaminated freshwater drawn from the rivers where students swam in Nanyuki. Pictured are British Army soldiers during a military exercise at ol-Daiga Ranch, Nanyuki, Kenya, in 2018.</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Outbreaks are often traced back to swimming pools.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The chlorine-resistant parasite is transmitted through contaminated fecal matter that enters the mouth, for example when swimming. Traces of dried poop can be easily removed from the anus of an infected person.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">At first, authorities were puzzled as to the origin of the diarrhea outbreak in Nanyuki, located about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Nairobi. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Fecal samples from sick soldiers who tested positive for cryptosporidium were repatriated.</p> <div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS health"> <h3 class="mol-factbox-title">What is cryptosporidium?</h3> <div class="ins cleared mol-factbox-body"> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Cryptosporidium, which can cause vomiting, stomach pains and fever, can survive in swimming pools for up to a week.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The chlorine-resistant parasite is transmitted through contaminated fecal matter that enters the mouth, for example when swimming.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Traces of dried poop can be removed from the anus of an infected person.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Infected people can shed up to 100 million cryptosporidium germs in a single bowel movement, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Swallowing just ten is enough to make you sick.</p> </div> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Army chiefs also sent tanker and river samples to British laboratories for in-depth testing.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Investigations revealed that the water in which the soldiers swam was contaminated. Soldiers also reported that raw sewage entered the same bodies of water they used recreationally.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Although the cluster of cases in rural Kenya occurred almost two years ago, the details did not come to light until this week. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Writing in the diary, <a target="_blank" class="" href="https://academic.oup.com/ofid/article/11/1/ofae001/7505445" rel="noopener">Infectious Diseases Open Forum</a>Researchers at the Royal Center for Defense Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine said all cases were isolated while they were collecting data on the outbreak.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Military personnel in the US, Germany and France have previously been affected by cryptosporidiosis outbreaks “in small numbers.”</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">But there have been no previous reports in sub-Saharan Africa.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">A handful of cases had also eaten at local restaurants before symptoms began, while other samples were linked to poultry consumed during a “survival exercise”, they said. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">For most people, cryptosporidiosis (the technical name for the infection) is mild.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">In October, UKHSA officials revealed that 2,411 cases of stomach virus had been detected across the UK, with weekly notifications peaking at 450 at the end of September, triple the level normally expected.</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It usually goes away on its own without any treatment within a few days or weeks.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">However, for vulnerable people, such as those with weakened immune systems and the elderly or patients undergoing cancer treatment, it can be more serious.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Due to its highly infectious nature, people with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting are told not to go to work or school until they have been free of these symptoms for at least 48 hours.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">In October, officials at the UK’s Health Security Agency said Britain was being hit by an “unprecedented” outbreak of the parasite.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Officials investigating the unusual cluster of cryptosporidium cases believed it could be linked to holidays abroad, as dozens of affected Britons had traveled to Spain and other Mediterranean countries. </p> </div> <div class="linkButtonRow articleTopicsRow">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)</div> <p> <!-- ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/health/none/article/other/inread_player.html --></p> <div class="column-content cleared"> <div class="shareArticles"> <h3 class="social-links-title">Share or comment on this article: The British Army is defeated… by diarrhea! A parasite sickens 172 soldiers stationed in Kenya</h3> </div> </div> <p> <!-- ad: https://mads.dailymail.co.uk/v8/us/health/none/article/other/mpu_comment_desktop_1.html?id=mpu_comment_desktop_1 --></p> </div><!-- /wp:html -->

The outbreak in Nanyuki was the largest ever reported by the military worldwide
Cryptosporidiosis is often transmitted through contaminated water and food and in swimming pools.

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Dozens of British Army personnel stationed in Kenya have fallen ill in a diarrhea outbreak of unprecedented magnitude.

One hundred and seventy-two soldiers fell ill at the Nanyuki barracks between February and April 2022, almost a fifth of the 1,200 soldiers active there at the time.

Some had to fight their illness for more than a week.

Military doctors believe this is the first outbreak of Cryptosporidium in the history of the British Army.

Cryptosporidium, which can cause vomiting, stomach pains and fever, can survive in water for up to a week.

Your browser does not support iframes.

The outbreak is the largest ever reported by the military worldwide. At first, health officials were baffled as to the origin of the outbreak. But investigations revealed that most cases could be attributed to contaminated freshwater drawn from the rivers where students swam in Nanyuki. Pictured are British Army soldiers during a military exercise at ol-Daiga Ranch, Nanyuki, Kenya, in 2018.

Outbreaks are often traced back to swimming pools.

The chlorine-resistant parasite is transmitted through contaminated fecal matter that enters the mouth, for example when swimming. Traces of dried poop can be easily removed from the anus of an infected person.

At first, authorities were puzzled as to the origin of the diarrhea outbreak in Nanyuki, located about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Nairobi.

Fecal samples from sick soldiers who tested positive for cryptosporidium were repatriated.

What is cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium, which can cause vomiting, stomach pains and fever, can survive in swimming pools for up to a week.

The chlorine-resistant parasite is transmitted through contaminated fecal matter that enters the mouth, for example when swimming.

Traces of dried poop can be removed from the anus of an infected person.

Infected people can shed up to 100 million cryptosporidium germs in a single bowel movement, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Swallowing just ten is enough to make you sick.

Army chiefs also sent tanker and river samples to British laboratories for in-depth testing.

Investigations revealed that the water in which the soldiers swam was contaminated. Soldiers also reported that raw sewage entered the same bodies of water they used recreationally.

Although the cluster of cases in rural Kenya occurred almost two years ago, the details did not come to light until this week.

Writing in the diary, Infectious Diseases Open ForumResearchers at the Royal Center for Defense Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine said all cases were isolated while they were collecting data on the outbreak.

Military personnel in the US, Germany and France have previously been affected by cryptosporidiosis outbreaks “in small numbers.”

But there have been no previous reports in sub-Saharan Africa.

A handful of cases had also eaten at local restaurants before symptoms began, while other samples were linked to poultry consumed during a “survival exercise”, they said.

For most people, cryptosporidiosis (the technical name for the infection) is mild.

In October, UKHSA officials revealed that 2,411 cases of stomach virus had been detected across the UK, with weekly notifications peaking at 450 at the end of September, triple the level normally expected.

It usually goes away on its own without any treatment within a few days or weeks.

However, for vulnerable people, such as those with weakened immune systems and the elderly or patients undergoing cancer treatment, it can be more serious.

Due to its highly infectious nature, people with symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting are told not to go to work or school until they have been free of these symptoms for at least 48 hours.

In October, officials at the UK’s Health Security Agency said Britain was being hit by an “unprecedented” outbreak of the parasite.

Officials investigating the unusual cluster of cryptosporidium cases believed it could be linked to holidays abroad, as dozens of affected Britons had traveled to Spain and other Mediterranean countries.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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