Cryptosporidiosis

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What are the symptoms of cryptosporidiosis?

The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea. Other symptoms include:

Some people with Crypto will have no symptoms at all. While the small intestine is the site most commonly affected, Crypto infections could possibly affect other areas of the digestive tract or the respiratory tract.

How long after infection do symptoms appear?

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis generally begin 2 to 10 days (average 7 days) after becoming infected with the parasite.

How long will symptoms last?

In persons with healthy immune systems, symptoms usually last about 1 to 2 weeks. The symptoms may go in cycles in which you may seem to get better for a few days, then feel worse again before the illness ends.

Who is most at risk for cryptosporidiosis?

People who are most likely to become infected with Cryptosporidium include:

  • Children who attend day care centers, including diaper-aged children
  • Child care workers
  • Parents of infected children
  • People who take care of other people with cryptosporidiosis
  • International travelers
  • Backpackers, hikers, and campers who drink unfiltered, untreated water
  • People who drink from untreated shallow, unprotected wells
  • People, including swimmers, who swallow water from contaminated sources
  • People who handle infected cattle
  • People exposed to human feces through sexual contact

Contaminated water may include water that has not been boiled or filtered, as well as contaminated recreational water sources (e.g., swimming pools, lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams). Several community-wide outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been linked to drinking municipal water or recreational water contaminated with Cryptosporidium.

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