There has been an increase in the number of cases of cryptosporidium in New Brunswick, New Brunswick, the city reported this week. The city reported Wednesday that 85 new cases of the virus had been confirmed, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,031. There have also been 793 new cases of active infection.
The contagious parasite can cause diarrhea, nausea, dehydration and other complications for people who get sick after consuming contaminated food or water. Public health officials at the city reported that there were a total of 95 cases of active infection in affected households as of Monday. Several individuals have been hospitalized for the disease. All of the cases have been linked to a storm sewer that runs across the river between Brooklea Island and the Sunshine Bluffs area, the city reported, as the bacteria can travel through stormwater overflows into the sewer system.
The mayor of the city, Brian Gallant, released a statement on Aug. 18 blaming New Brunswick’s municipal government and transit authority for the lack of sewage infrastructure and its connection to contamination in the water. “This is an unacceptable situation,” the mayor said. “The province has not provided enough resources to the city and local transit authority. The drainage network still does not connect to our waste water plant, nor has the government offered new infrastructure at the same time as the plan to shut down the old sewer system.”
The province responded to the mayor’s statements, and said that there is sufficient infrastructure and funding to ensure that the situation is handled. “Despite severe flooding, the fact remains that there is adequate coverage for local sewage treatment and potable water treatment in all municipalities,” a statement by the province said.