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Cryptosporidium Infection Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Cryptosporidium Infection ?

It is an illness triggered by minute cryptosporidium parasites. After the parasites get into the body, they manage to reach the small intestine. Later, these tend to burrow into your intestinal walls and shed through feces.

Moreover, in healthy individuals, the infection is known to cause a bout of diarrhea. Often, the symptoms associated with cryptosporidium infection resolve within 7-14 days. People those with a weakened immune system, the infection can lead to some serious complications, in case of leaving untreated.

can be prevented by the following measures:

  • Avert drinking water from recreational water parks, streams, lakes and pools.
  • Practice good hygiene.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cryptosporidium Infection ?

Generally, the initial symptoms arise within 3-6 days after being infected, and can include the following:

Signs can persist for 12-14 days; however, these may resolve and emerge occasionally for up to 30 days. Same is the case with healthy and people with weakened immune system. Few, despite being infected may not develop any signs at all.

What Causes Cryptosporidium Infection ?

Ingesting the single-cell parasite named, crptosporidia parasite serves as the basis to make a person ill. After the parasites get into the body, they manage to reach the small intestine. Later, these tend to burrow into your intestinal walls and shed through feces. Touching an item, contaminated by feces let the parasite infect your body. Common methods of infection are as follow:

  • Drinking or swimming in contaminated water.
  • Consuming contaminated or raw food.
  • Close contacts with infected animals or people.
  • After touching a contaminated object, touching your mouth.

People with weak immune system are more prone to develop an infection as compared to healthy people. Unfortunately, patients of AIDS tend to develop intense signs and persistent form of Cryptosporidium infection, which can be hard to treat.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Cryptosporidium Infection ?

Those, more prone to experience the infection include:

  • Individuals who drink or eat contaminated water or food.
  • Close relative of an infected person, for example mother or father of an infected child.
    Animal handlers.
  • Children and workers who spend time in child care centers.
  • International traveler, particularly the ones who are traveling to some underdeveloped country.
    People involved in oral-to-anal sexual activity.
  • Swimmers who accidentally intake the water in rivers, lakes and pools.
  • Campers, hikers and backpackers who consume unfiltered water.
  • Individuals who uses water from unprotected wells and shallow.

How Is Cryptosporidium Infection Diagnosis ?

Following tests are used to detect Cryptosporidium infection:

  • Acid-staining test.
  • Stool culture.

How Is Cryptosporidium Infection Treatment ?

There is no defined treatment for this infection. Often in healthy people, it recovers within 7-14 days without the need of medical aid. Though people with a weakened immune system, cryptosporidium infection can persist and cause great wasting and malnutrition. Treatment for such people is mandatory that aims to ease signs, whilst improve the response of immune system.

  • Treatment options include:
  • Fluid replacement.
  • Anti-parasitic medications.
  • Anti-motility agents.
  • Antiretroviral therapies.

By : Natural Health News

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