Overview

Cryptosporidium infection (cryptosporidiosis) is an illness caused by tiny, one-celled cryptosporidium parasites. When cryptosporidia (krip-toe-spoe-RID-e-uh) enter your body, they travel to your small intestine and then burrow into the walls of your intestines. Later, cryptosporidia are shed in your feces.

In most healthy people, a cryptosporidium infection produces a bout of watery diarrhea and the infection usually goes away within a week or two. If you have a compromised immune system, a cryptosporidium infection can become life-threatening without proper treatment. You can help prevent a cryptosporidium infection by practicing good hygiene and avoiding swallowing water from pools, recreational water parks, lakes and streams.

Nov. 30, 2016
References
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  2. Longo DL, et al., eds. Protozoal intestinal infections and trichomoniasis. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
  3. Leder K, et al. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
  4. Parasites — Cryptosporidium: Prevention & control. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/prevention-control.html. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
  5. Levinson W. Intestinal and urogenital — protozoa. In: Review of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. 14th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2016. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.
  6. Leder K, et al. Treatment and prevention of cryptosporidiosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 19, 2016.