Cryptosporidiosis is an intestinal infection. It goes away on its own in most people. But, it can be life-threatening for young children, the elderly, and people who are sick.
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A certain parasite causes cryptosporidiosis. It enters the body by when you swallow it. Once in the intestine, it comes out of its shell and multiplies. You can get it from contaminated water, soil, or stool. It can pass to you from:
Risk is higher for:
Most people don’t have symptoms. If they do appear, they may cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may have a physical exam and stool tests.
Most people will not need care because the infection will go away on its own. The infection is also more likely to be more severe and last longer if your immune system is weak.
If needed, care may involve:
To lower your chances of cryptosporidiosis:
Wash your hands often, mainly:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
IDSA—Infectious Diseases Society of America
Canadian Public Health Association
Cryptosporidiosis. New York Department of Health website. Available at: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/cryptosporidiosis/fact_sheet.htm. Updated September 2016. Accessed May 29, 2018.
Parasites—cryptosporidium (also known as crypto). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto. Updated January 12, 2017. Accessed May 29, 2018.
Foodborne illnesses. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T905770/Foodborne-illnesses . Updated May 23, 2018. Accessed May 29, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 5/29/2018