Cryptosporidium is a waterborne disease that is usually caused by contaminated water. The germ "Crypto" gradually builds up in the small intestine and becomes fecal matter. This parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive for long periods of time. Eventually, an infection develops and weakens the immune system. When this occurs, people can have symptoms such as diarrhea, dehydration, stomach cramps, stomach ache, and vomiting. Infections can also occur in animals and can be spread through soil, food, and contaminated surfaces. Parents should be especially concerned because young children are the most vulnerable. In healthy lndividuals, a cryptosporidium infection usually goes away in about two weeks. People with weakened immune systems, particularly HIV/AIDS patients can be sick for months. However, this illness can be prevented if you do the following four things:

Practice Good Hygiene

Practicing proper hygiene can never be overestimated. You should wash your hands after going to the bathroom or contacting toilet. This should also be done before eating. Just doing this simple step will reduce your risk of contracting cryptosporidium. Disinfecting your bathroom regularly is useful for fighting infection. Despite what some people may believe, bleach is often ineffective in killing this parasite. According to a prominent panel of doctors, hydrogen peroxide should be used.  If you change a baby's diaper, make sure that you sanitize your hands. Child care providers have to be especially cautious because being careless can cause an outbreak.

Consider Boiling Water

Because cryptosporidium can be contracted through contaminated water, boiling it before drinking should be considered. You might want to pour some heated water into a jug and put it in your refrigerator. This process kills germs and parasites. Most people do not get their drinking water from underground water sources. Most public water supplies have been found to have small amounts of crypto in them. It is recommended that water is boiled for at least one minute so that it can be purified. Bottled water is another viable option. It is often pasteurized and safer than tap water. People with HIV/AIDS or Cancer are more vulnerable to parasites than healthy individuals. Cryptosporidium can cause massive diarrhea and weight loss to these patients. Note: Cryptosporidium is not spread by contact with blood.

Make Sure That Your Food Is Completely Cooked

Before cooking, wash your food in clean water. This is especially important if you are eating fruits or vegetables. Sometimes foods have been exposed to manure and this process will protect you from possible infection. When you believe that your meal is ready, double check it. If necessary, let your dish simmer for additional minutes. The important thing is that parasites are eliminated.

Swim In Clean Water

If you are a swimmer, it is essential that your water is clear. Swimming in lakes or rivers can cause infection and sometimes, chlorination does not kill the germ. Contaminated water is also found in ponds and streams. When you swim in recreational water, your body is exposed to every person in the pool. Caution: Do not swallow this water because it can make you sick. Before swimming, shower with soap and take a rinse shower before getting back in the water. This will reduce your chances of getting cryptosporidium. Do not swim for at least two weeks in you have had diarrhea.

Practicing good hygiene is important because it can reduce your risk of contracting cryptosporidium. Doing this can also prevent an outbreak of this illness. Boiling water will eliminate potential parasites and germs. Making sure that your food is completely cooked can kill infections. Swimming in clean water reduces exposure to germs. If you do these simple things, cryptosporidium can be prevented. If symptoms persist past two weeks, consult your doctor. 

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