In this Article
- What is cryptosporidiosis?
- How is cryptosporidiosis spread?
- What are the symptoms of cryptosporidiosis?
- What is the incubation period for cryptosporidiosis infection?
- How long will symptoms last?
- Who is most at risk for cryptosporidiosis?
- Who is most at risk for getting seriously ill with cryptosporidiosis?
- What should I do if I think I may have cryptosporidiosis?
- How is cryptosporidiosis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for cryptosporidiosis?
- If I have been diagnosed with Crypto, should I worry about spreading the infection to others?
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
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