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People can catch diarrhoeal diseases from contamination of both natural and man-made environments with human or animal faeces. Young children are more likely to be susceptible to the agents and to be exposed. While some diarrhoeal diseases acquired in childhood can be relatively mild and give some protection as an adult, others are more severe. The two papers presented in this issue of Eurosurveillance describe, on the face of it, unremarkable small outbreaks; one, from Chikwe Ihekweazu et al, linked to exposure to a stream contaminated with Escherichia coli from animal faeces [1]; the other, from Melanie Jones et al, to exposure to a water feature contaminated with Cryptosporidium parvum from either animal or human faeces [2].


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