School Nurse Information

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Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium spp.)

Clinical Description

A gastrointestinal illness characterized by diarrhea and one or more of the following: diarrhea duration of 72 hours or more, abdominal cramping, vomiting, or anorexia.

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis generally begin 2 to 10 days (average 7 days) after becoming infected with the parasite. The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea. Symptoms include:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Prevention

Wash Hand!

Wet hands with clean, running water and apply soap. Lather all surfaces of hands and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Rinse with clean, running water and dry with a clean towel or air

  • before preparing or eating food,
  • after using the toilet,
  • after changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet,
  • before and after caring for someone who is ill with diarrhea,
  • after handling an animal, particularly young livestock, or its stool,
  • after gardening, even if wearing gloves.

Note: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not effectively kill Cryptosporidium. Information about hand hygiene is available from CDC’s Handwashing website.