Caused By the Parasite Cryptosporidium

What is it?

Cryptosporidiosis is a diarrheal disease that is caused by cyrptospordium parasites in the intestine of humans and animals. It is spread by the stool of an infected human or animal being ingested by another human or animal. (Examples being drinking contaminated water, not properly washing fruits and vegetable, touching your mouth with a contaminated hand or object) In all any contaminated soil, water, food, and surface can give you this disease if you swallow the parasite. This disease is one of the most common cause of waterborne disease as of the past two decades in the United States for humans.

How is it Diagnosed?

This disease is diagnosed by several stool samples being sent to a laboratory to test the stools for the parasite cryptosporidium. The stool samples should be taken over several days since testing for this parasite can be troublesome.

How Frequent is this Disease?

This disease is still relevant to these times. The most common people that contract this disease are ones who do not drink properly cleaned water, swimmers who swim in contaminated water (and accidentally swallow the water), people who handle infected animals and humans, and international travelers.

What is the Disease Course?

  1. The parasite enters your body by ingestion
  2. The parasite goes in your intestine and causes you to be sick, symptoms include: watery diarrhea, stomach pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, and weight loss.
  3. The parasite passes through your digestive tract and goes into your feces. For people with healthy immune systems can either take the FDA approved prescription Nitazoxanide which will treat diarrhea caused by the parasite cryptosporidium or just let your body treat itself without medication. People with weakened immune systems can sometimes not completely get rid of this disease and the symptoms often come back whenever there immune systems are weakened again.

What are Possible Complications?

This disease is usually fought of easily with or without a prescription for people with a normal immune system. People with low or weakened immune systems though can have a more severe illnesses after getting this disease. Also even if the systems go away the person could still have disease and the symptoms could come back if the person's immune system worsens.

Who is the Target Audience?

The target audience is to all people because anyone can get this disease if they do not wash their hands or eat properly cleaned substances. Although the people that are most likely to get this disease are ones that travel a lot and people who spend lots of time in the woods (campers) because they are most likely to drink improperly cleaned water.

Sarah Kurzel