What is Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium parvum, also known as “Crypto,” is a parasite found in food and water that has been contaminated by feces from humans or animals. It is highly resistant to normal levels of chlorine, and can survive in pools and drinking water. People usually get cryptosporidium from swallowing contaminated water, eating contaminated food, or coming into contact with contaminated feces.

What is the illness caused by Crypto typically like?

Symptoms of cryptosporidium infection, or cryptosporidiosis, generally appear a week after the parasite is swallowed. Signs that one is infected by a cryptosporidium parasite include profuse and watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fatigue, fever, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Those at increased risk of infection with cryptosporidium include people with weak immune systems, the elderly, small children, and pregnant women.

You can learn more about Cryptosporidium at Foodborneillness.com.