I have been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, should I worry about spreading the infection to others?
Yes, Cryptosporidium can be very contagious. Infected individuals should follow these guidelines to avoid spreading the disease to others:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, after changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
- Do not swim in recreational water (pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, oceans, etc.) if you have cryptosporidiosis and for at least 2 weeks after the diarrhea stops. You can pass Crypto in your stool and contaminate water for several weeks after your symptoms have ended. You do not even need to have a fecal accident in the water. Immersion in the water may be enough for contamination to occur. Water contaminated in this manner has resulted in outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis among recreational water users. Note: You may not be protected in a chlorinated recreational water venue e.g., swimming pool, water park, splash pad, spray park) because Cryptosporidium is chlorine-resistant and can live for days in chlorine-treated water.
- Avoid sexual practices that might result in oral exposure to stool (e.g., oral-anal contact).
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a weakened immune system.
- Children with diarrhea should be excluded from child care settings until the diarrhea has stopped.
Medically reviewed by Venkatachala Mohan, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Gastroenterology
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/11/2014
Viewers share their comments
Cryptosporidiosis - Experience
Question: Please describe your experience with cryptosporidiosis.
Cryptosporidiosis - Symptoms
Question: What were the symptoms associated with your cryptosporidiosis?
Cryptosporidiosis - Diagnosis
Question: Please discuss the process and tests that led to a diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis.
Cryptosporidiosis - Treatment
Question: What types of treatment or medications did you receive for cryptosporidiosis?