Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by swallowing the Cryptosporidium parasite. It causes diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
Cryptosporidium is present in the faeces matter of infected humans and animals. Infection occurs when the parasite is ingested. Transmission often occurs through:
A person is most infectious when they have diarrhoea, but the parasite may be excreted for several days after symptoms disappear.
People who are most likely to become infected with Cryptosporidium include:
People with weakened immune systems are at risk for more serious disease and should see their doctor if symptoms develop.
To avoid catching cryptosporidiosis:
People travelling to developing countries should:
To avoid spreading cryptosporidiosis, people with cryptosporidiosis should:
Children who have diarrhoea should be kept home from preschool, childcare or playgroup until 24 hours after the diarrhoea has completely stopped.
To diagnose cryptosporidiosis your doctor will order a stool test.
There is no specific treatment for cryptosporidiosis. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Laboratories are required to notify cases of cryptosporidiosis to the local Public Health Unit under the Public Health Act, 2010. Public Health Units investigate cases, and review possible sources of infection to prevent further spread.
For further information please call your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.