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Contaminated water (the most common way for the parasite to be transmitted):
- Accidentally swallowing water in contaminated recreational water such as a lakes, streams, hot tubs, swimming pools, or water parks
- Drinking water or ice that is contaminated
- Contact with contaminated diapers or clothing
- Contact with contaminated animal feces by touching animals, cleaning cages, or visiting barns or petting zoos
- Sexual activity that includes contact with contaminated feces
- Eating food grown in, or contaminated by, infected soil
- Drinking contaminated unpasteurized milk, dairy products, or juice
- Eating food that was handled by someone who is infected or washed in contaminated water
- Young children, especially if they are in day care
- Day care workers or those who work in a group setting
- People whose immune system is weakened by cancer, AIDS , or an organ transplant
- People who engage in oral-anal sex
- Backpackers, hikers, and campers who may come into contact with contaminated water sources
- Watery diarrhea
- Stomach cramps
- Upset stomach, vomiting
- Slight fever
- Weight loss
- IV fluids
- Antidiarrheal drugs
- Nitazoxanide—This drug may not work if the immune system is weak.
Wash your hands often, especially:
- After using the toilet
- After changing a diaper
- Before handling or eating food
- After contact with animals or soil
- After contact with infected people
- Drink safe water. Boil water if you are unsure if it’s safe.
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming in recreational water
- Eat safe food. Wash vegetables that will be eaten raw.
- Drink only pasteurized milk and juice.
- Use precautions during sexual activity.
- Washing your hands frequently.
- Avoiding swimming in recreational waters.
- Taking precautions during sexual activity.
American Medical Association http://www.ama-assn.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Canadian HIV/AIDS Information Centre http://www.cpha.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Cryptosporidiosis. New York Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/cryptosporidiosis/fact%5Fsheet.htm. Updated October 2011. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Cryptosporidium infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto. Updated January 16, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
Foodborne illnesses. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 20, 2013. Accessed May 16, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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