Type of disease: Rare conditions

Cryptosporidosis also known as “crypto” is an infection caused specifically by the parasite cryptosporidium found in soil, food and water. This infection affects the small intestines and is usually a temporary short-term infection. The infection is most commonly spread through swallowing the parasite by eating contaminated food or drinking water. The infection can affect anyone, however people with weakened immune systems, such as by having HIV/AIDs, experience much serious symptoms. The main symptom of cryptosporidiosis is diarrhea in people with normal immune systems. However, other symptoms include dehydration, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Diagnosis is done through the examination of stool samples. People with normal healthy immune systems usually recover without the need for any treatment or drinking plenty of water in the case of diarrhea. People with weakened immune systems may have to take anti-diarrheal medicine and constant rehydration measures especially for infants in which dehydration can be fatal. Prevention measures include washing hands often, avoiding water that may potentially be infected, and wash or peel fruits and vegetables before eating them. Please consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

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