Causes and Symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidiosis (often called “Crypto”) is a diarrheal disease caused by the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium spp.

During the past 2 decades, Crypto has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne diseases (drinking and recreational) in humans in the United States. Approximately 200-300 cases of Crypto are diagnosed in Minnesota each year.

on this page:
Fact Sheets
Symptoms
Duration of Illness
Complications
Transmission

Fact Sheets

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • watery diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • slight fever.

Duration of Illness

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

Complications

For persons with compromised immune systems, for example persons with AIDS, some cancers, or recent organ transplants, the infection may persist indefinitely, and symptoms may be more severe.

Transmission

Cryptosporidium can live in the intestines of humans and animals and is passed in the stool of an infected person or animal.

Millions of Crypto organisms (oocysts) can be released in the bowel movement of an infected human or animal. You can become infected after accidentally ingesting the oocysts.

Crypto may be found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces of infected humans or animals.

Any person who has been diagnosed with Crypto should not go swimming while they are having symptoms or for 2 weeks after symptoms resolve.

 

 


Do you suspect that you have a foodborne or waterborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne/waterborne illnesses.

 

Updated Wednesday, 19-Jun-2013 13:18:41 CDT