Parasites and Protozoans (Giardia, Cryptosporidium)
These tiny organisms are less frequently responsible for intestinal irritation.
A person may become infected by one of these by drinking contaminated water.
Swimming pools are common places to come in contact with these parasites. Common
- Giardia is the most
frequent cause of waterborne diarrhea, causing giardiasis. Often, people become infected after swallowing water that has been contaminated by animal feces (poop). This may occur by drinking infected water from river or lakes but giardia may also be found in swimming pools, wells and cisterns.
- Cryptosporidium (Crypto) is a parasite that lives in the intestine
of affected individuals or animals. The infected individual or animal sheds
the Cryptosporidium parasite in the stool. Crypto may also be found
in food, water, soil, or contaminated surfaces (swallowing contaminated
water, beverages, uncooked food, unwashed fruits and
vegetables, touching contaminated surfaces such as bathroom fixtures, toys,
diaper pails, changing tables, changing diapers, caring for an infected
individual or handling an infected cow or calf). Those at risk for serious
disease are individuals with weakened immune systems.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/15/2013
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