Updated April 13, 2023
Immune, Allergy & Infection Program
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Corrected, from Open AI 4/13/2023
Cryptosporidiosis is an illness caused by a microscopic parasite called Cryptosporidium. The parasite can be found in water, soil, and feces of infected animals and humans.
Cryptosporidiosis is transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated water, food, or surfaces, or through contact with infected animals or people. It can also be spread through sexual contact or from mother to child during childbirth.
Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis usually include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever. In healthy individuals, the symptoms usually last for about 1-2 weeks and resolve on their own. However, in people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, cryptosporidiosis can be a severe and potentially life-threatening illness.
Treatment for cryptosporidiosis involves managing the symptoms with supportive care, such as rehydration, electrolyte replacement, and anti-diarrheal medication. Antimicrobial therapy may be prescribed in severe cases or in immunocompromised individuals.
Prevention of cryptosporidiosis involves practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding contact with infected individuals or animals, and drinking only treated or boiled water.
This medication was approved in 2002 and is the only recommended medication for conventional treatment. In some cases, pharmaceutical treatment is not necessary.