Disastrous trips: Several children became seriously ill after visiting petting zoos in Great Britain. Experts warn about the dangerous parasite Cryptosporidium.

Numerous children have fallen ill after visiting petting zoos in Great Britain. As the Daily Mail reports, health experts are urgently warning about the risk of infection with the Cryptosporidium parasite. It is known to cause serious gastrointestinal diseases.

One of the affected children, eleven-year-old Poppy, even had to be hospitalized for four days after visiting a petting zoo in Oxfordshire. She had become infected with the parasite and was suffering from severe vomiting and diarrhea.

Despite exemplary hygiene, Poppy was unable to protect herself from infection. Her mother assured that she and her daughter washed their hands thoroughly after touching the animals and before eating, and Poppy even wore gloves.

More than 80 people also became ill after visiting a petting zoo in Worcestershire. The zoo had to be temporarily closed and the UK Health Security Agency has begun an investigation, reports the Daily Mail.

Cryptosporidium is a genus of single-celled parasites that can cause disease in humans and animals. The most well-known pathogen is Cryptosporidium parvum, which causes the disease cryptosporidiosis. This parasitic infection primarily affects the intestines and can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

Transmission often occurs through contaminated water or food and can also occur from person to person. Cryptosporidium cysts are highly resistant to chlorine, making drinking water difficult to disinfect. The infection can be particularly serious in immunocompromised people.

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