British Army Sickened By Parasite

A massive outbreak of diarrhea afflicted dozens of British soldiers stationed in Kenya.

From February to April 2022, 172 soldiers fell sick, or over 20% of the 1,200 men stationed in the Nanyuki barracks. Some people had to fight off their sickness for more than a week.

According to military physicians, this is the first case of cryptosporidium in the history of the British Army.

The water-loving cryptosporidium can withstand temperatures of up to seven days, causing nausea, vomiting, and a high temperature.

Infected feces that enter the mouth, as happens when swimming, is a vector for the chlorine-resistant parasite.

Nanyuki is around 120 miles (193 km) north of Nairobi, and officials there were first perplexed about where the diarrhea epidemic originated.

Soldiers who were ill and tested positive for cryptosporidium had their feces sent back home. The army’s top brass also sent water samples taken from rivers and tankers back to laboratories in the UK for further analysis.

Results showed that the water the troops swam in was polluted. Additionally, service members mentioned that the bodies of water they enjoyed for leisure were contaminated with raw sewage.

Details on the cluster of instances in rural Kenya, which occurred over two years ago, have only emerged this week.

Researchers from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine reported in the Open Forum Infectious Diseases journal that all patients were isolated during the outbreak data collection process.

An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis ‘in modest numbers’ has occurred among US, German, and French military personnel.

Sub-Saharan Africa has not, however, recorded any prior reports.

The infection, known as cryptosporidiosis, is usually relatively minor for most individuals.

Nevertheless, it can be more severe for susceptible individuals, such as the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or cancer patients receiving therapy.

People who have symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are advised to remain home from work or school for at least 48 hours because of how contagious it is.