An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis at the Centreville High School agriculture program sent one student to the hospital and infected 12 others, according to Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.
The outbreak came in early March in the co-op vet/ag science program run through St. Joseph Intermediate School District and involving students from throughout the county, according to Rebecca Burns, environmental health director.
The parasite is commonly found near calves, Burns said the health agency identified the calf program as the source.
“The school is all in to make sure this doesn’t happened again,” Burns said. “The problem was traced to poor hand-washing.”
Burns said there was hand sanitizer in the barn, but that alone is not enough.
Two other major outbreaks of crypto were reported in the tri-county health district since 2011. In Hillsdale County in 2012, 28 people were infected at a pool party. In 2011, a Quincy firefighter was hospitalized and 19 others infected while fighting a fire at a calf barn. Firefighters used water from a pond nearby to extinguish the blaze.