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Cryptosporidiosis

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Fact sheet - Health conditions directory

Cryptosporidiosis, often called ‘crypto’, is an intestinal infection caused by the microscopic parasite Cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidiosis occurs worldwide and is a common cause of acute diarrhoea in young children. As well as infecting humans, Cryptosporidium parvum occurs in a variety of animals including cattle, sheep, dogs and cats. In people with normal immune systems the disease is generally not serious. Cryptosporidium hominis also causes infection in humans. However, people with weakened immune systems (e.g. some people receiving cancer treatment, people on steroid therapy and people with HIV/AIDS) may develop severe and long lasting illness. The disease tends to be more common during the warmer months.

Community outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been attributed to contaminated water supplies, recreational water supplies (swimming pools) and child/day care centres.

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Last updated: 3/02/2016 3:04:41 PM