Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium): Symptoms and treatment

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Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis

The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea.  Other symptoms include:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dehydration
  • stomach cramps or pain

These symptoms appear within 2 to 10 days of infection and usually last about 1 or 2 weeks.  Most people recover within 1 to 2 weeks.

If you become ill

Contact your health care provider if you have any of these symptoms or think you have cryptosporidiosis. Mention if you have been exposed to food, water or feces that may have been contaminated by parasites.

Your health care provider can:

  • monitor your illness
  • prescribe appropriate treatment

If you have diarrhea, drink plenty of water or fluids to prevent dehydration.

Testing for cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidium is diagnosed by a health care provider through laboratory testing, usually of a stool sample.

Treating cryptosporidiosis

Most people recover without treatment.  If you have symptoms of cryptosporidiosis, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water and fluids. 

Antidiarrhea drugs and rehydration therapy may be used if diarrhea becomes severe.

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