Cryptosporidium Infection (Cryptosporidiosis)
Cryptosporidium infection is also called cryptosporidiosis. It is an illness that affects your intestines. It is caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium. This parasite is found in the stool of infected people or animals, which can then contaminate food or water. People are often infected by contaminated water. This most often happens when someone swallows water from a pool, lake, or stream.
Common Symptoms of Cryptosporidium Infection
The main symptom is watery diarrhea. This starts about
Diagnosing Cryptosporidium Infection
A sample of your stool is checked for the parasite. More than one stool sample may be needed.
Treating Cryptosporidium Infection
Most people get better within
Call the Doctor If You Have:
Severe abdominal pain
Signs of dehydration (dry, sticky mouth; very little urine; very dark urine)
Preventing Cryptosporidium Infection
Follow these steps to lessen the chances of getting or passing on this infection:
Don’t swallow or drink water from pools, lakes, streams, or rivers. When traveling outside the country or camping, do not drink or cook with water unless you know it’s safe. Boil any water you use for at least
If you drink well water, have it tested once a year for germs. Be sure the test includes Cryptosporidium.
Wash your hands well with soap and warm water. Do this often. Make sure to wash before preparing meals. Wash after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets. Teach your child to do the same.
Use a food thermometer when cooking. Cook poultry to at least 165°F (74°C). Cook pork and ground meats to at least 160°F (71°C). Cook beef or lamb to at least 145°F (63°C).
Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating them.
If you are infected with Cryptosporidium, talk to your health care provider about special precautions to take.