Doctor's Notes on Cryptosporidiosis
Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by infection of humans and other animals by one or more species of Cryptosporidium protozoans. The first signs and symptoms of Cryptosporidiosis often are watery diarrhea and fever. Other signs and symptoms may include a lack of appetite, stomach cramps, dehydration, weight loss, nausea, and/or vomiting. Symptoms last about five to 10 days but may persist longer in immunosuppressed individuals. Immunosuppressed people may develop persistent diarrhea, malnutrition, dehydration, respiratory problems, pancreatitis, and gallbladder problems (acalculous cholecystitis); others may have persistent pain in the head, joints, eyes and may have problems with cognition.
The causes of cryptosporidiosis are Cryptosporidium protozoan parasites that reproduce in the epithelial cells lining the distal small intestine tract and, if the host is immunocompromised, the parasites may reproduce almost anywhere in the G.I. tract and in the lungs. Cryptosporidium hominis and Cryptosporidium parvum are the two species that mainly infect humans although other Cryptosporidium species (about 15 different species) may also cause the disease in humans and animals.
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Dehydration in ChildrenDehydration in children can result from not drinking enough liquids, vomiting, diarrhea, or combination of these conditions. Causes of dehydration in children include viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections, diabetes, and increased sweating, and others. Symptoms include sunken eyes, decrease in urination, no tears when crying, dry mouth, lethargy, and irritability. Treatment at home includes proper fluid replacement. Some cases of dehydration are so severe they may require hospitalization.
DiarrheaDiarrhea can be caused by bacterial or viral infections, parasites, intestinal diseases or conditions, reactions to medications, and food intolerance or allergies. Symptoms of diarrhea include watery stools, abdominal cramping, fever, and dehydration. Most cases of diarrhea can be treated at home. In some cases (in the elderly, small children, or those with severe or chronic medical conditions) may need to be hospitalized due to dehydration.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Food PoisoningFood poisoning is caused by viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, or chemicals that have contaminated food or drinking water. Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal cramping, dehydration, rectal bleeding, and bloating. Food poisoning usually can be cared for at home. In some instances (severe dehydration) a person may be hospitalized for treatment.
Vomiting and NauseaVomiting and nausea are common complaints that accompany many conditions and diseases. A few common causes of vomiting and nausea include food poisoning, viruses, vertigo, head injuries, gallbladder disease, appendicitis, migraine, brain tumors, and infections. Treatment of vomiting and nausea depend on the cause of the symptoms.
Weight LossObesity is simply the accumulation of excess body fat. It is much more than that, however. Obesity is a chronic (long-term) disease that is very difficult to treat. It takes 3,500 extra calories to gain 1 pound. To lose weight, you must eat 3,500 calories less than you need, say, 500 fewer calories per day for one week, to lose 1 pound.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.