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 illnesses (drinking and recreational) in humans in the United States. Approximately 200-350 cases of Crypto are diagnosed in Minnesota each year.
- Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium) Fact Sheet
Answers to frequently asked questions about cryptosporidiosis.
CDC; Fact sheet that answers some common questions about cryptosporidiosis. Attention: Non-MDH link
- watery diarrhea
- stomach cramps
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- slight fever.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 and for 2 weeks after symptoms resolve.
Do you suspect that you have a foodborne or waterborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne/waterborne illnesses.