Preventing Cryptosporidiosis

Minimizing Your Risk

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands after using the bathroom and changing diapers, and before handling or eating any food.

  • Make sure that persons with diarrhea, especially children, wash their hands carefully and frequently with soap to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating.

  • Always wash hands after contact with farm animals, pets, animal feces, and animal environments.

  • Hand Hygiene
    Wash Your Hands!

Avoid swallowing recreational water

  • Do not swallow water while swimming in swimming pools, hot tubs, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, streams, or the ocean.
    • Note: Crypto is chlorine resistant and can live in swimming pools for days.
  • Protect others by not swimming if you are experiencing diarrhea. If diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, do not swim for at least 2 weeks after diarrhea stops.
  • Healthy Swimming
    CDC; Contains information on recreational waterborne illnesses. Attention: Non-MDH link

Use caution when traveling

  • Avoid using ice or drinking water when traveling in countries where the water supply might be unsafe.

  • Avoid eating uncooked foods when traveling in countries with minimal water treatment and sanitation systems.

Avoid drinking untreated water

  • Do not drink untreated water from shallow wells, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams.

If you are unable to avoid drinking water that might be contaminated, then drink bottled water or treat the water yourself by:

  • Heating the water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute.


  • Using a filter that has been tested and rated by National Safety Foundation (NSF) Standard 53 or NSF Standard 58 for cyst and oocyst reduction; filtered water will need additional treatment to kill or inactivate bacteria and viruses.

Be careful when dealing with animals

  • Always wash hands after contact with farm animals, pets, animal feces, and animal environments.

  • Cryptosporidium Infection and Animals
    CDC; Protect yourself against getting Cryptosporidium from animals. Attention: Non-MDH link

Avoid fecal exposure

  • Especially during sexual intercourse

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


Updated Wednesday, 19-Jun-2013 14:17:44 CDT