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Cryptosporidiosis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Cryptosporidiosis Definitions

A protozoan of the genus Cryptosporidium that is an intestinal parasite in humans and other vertebrates. Sometimes, it is causes diarrhea that is especially severe in immunocompromised individuals. One of the species appears to be responsible for most of the illnesses. The infection is acquired through ingestion of oocysts with fecally contaminated food or water. Cryptosporidiosis disease may be prolonged and life-threatening in severely immunocompromised persons.

The incubationperiod is not precisely known in case of cryptosporidiosis, but 1 - 12 days is the likely range. The parasite may be found in drinking water and recreational water in every region of the United States and throughout the world.

Cryptosporidiosis Causes

In humans, the main causes of disease are C. parvum and C. hominis. C. canis , C. felis , C. meleagridis , and C. muris can also cause disease in humans. Cryptosporidium parasites may be found anywhere in the environment that is contaminated by animal droppings or human waste. Cryptosporidium oocysts may be contaminate soil and the food grown in it. Eating uncooked food contaminated with Cryptosporidium .

A number of species of Cryptosporidium infect mammals. Human and mammals cannot become infected through contact with blood. Ingestion of food or water contaminated with stool, including water in recreational water parks and swimming pools, is also a common mode of transmission.

Cryptosporidiosis Symptoms

Symptoms may appear in between two to ten days after infection and last for up to two weeks or so. Clinical illness occurs in over 80% of infected people. Most patients experience acute onset of watery diarrhea.

The symptoms of the cryptosporidiosis may be included:

  • vomiting
  • fever
  • diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • weight loss
  • pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • abdominal cramps
  • stomach cramps

Cryptosporidiosis Treatments

No drug has been found to cure cryptosporidiosis. Paromomycin may reduce symptoms and is used in immunocompromised individuals.

Treatment is primarily supportive. Antibiotics are not usually helpful, and are primarily reserved for persons with severe disease and a weak immune system.

AIDS specialists and patient activists may provide additional information on the latest treatments and on medications and alternative treatments which may provide some relief.

Several drug trials with high dose azithromycin may be helpful in case of cryptosporidiosis.

 

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