A Four-Minute Documentary About Cryptosporidiosis

Filed under: General Information - 24 Sep 2012  | Spread the word !

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Cryptosporidiosis or crypto is a disease caused by Cryptosporidium, a protozoan parasite. It appears only in mammals and provokes acute short-term infections because of contaminated water, in most of the cases. In people with regular immune systems it usually provokes diarrhea, but in those immunocompromised, like those suffering of AIDS, the disease is usually severe and it can be fatal. 

The disease was first identified just in 1976, although it is one of the most common waterborne illnesses that exist in the whole world. However, the organism – Cryptosporidium, was first described by Tyzzer in 1907. In order to learn more about the parasite and the disease, you need to see the next short documentary made by two high school students for a school project.

As you noticed, a lot of information which is very useful is condensed in just 4 minutes. The disease is very unpleasant (as any disease actually) and you need to take the best measures to avoid it if you plan to travel to places where there are water problems. Take care of your health, especially if you know you have a weak immune system which cannot fight easily such a parasite.

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What Is Cryptosporidium

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 30 Mar 2012  | Spread the word !

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Cryptosporidium is the protozoan that causes cryptosporidiosis. This is a gastro-intestinal illness that people can have. People who have cryptosporidium suffer from diarrhea. The protozoan is usually encountered at patients that are HIV positive. The scientific classification of cryptosporidium includes the family – Cryptosporidiidae, the suborder Eimeriorina, the order Eucoccidiorida, the subclass Coccidiasina, the class Conoidasida, the phylum Apicomplexa and the kingdom Protista. Other pathogens of cryptosporidium include a parasite causing malaria, called Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, the one that causes toxoplasmosis. Cryptosporidium does not need a vector and can have a life cycle in a single host. It has cyst stages and after they are excreted through human feces they can be transmitted to another host. There are several species of cryptosporidium that can make people sick – Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis.

The life cycle of cryptosporidium has spore phases and thanks to this, it can survive outside the human body for some time, resisting even to powerful disinfectants, like those based on chlorine. The are several groups that have a high risk of contracting cryptosporidium. Among them, those who swim regularly in pools that are not efficiently cleaned, because, as it was mentioned before, this protozoan is resistant to chlorine. Those that work in child care and those who have infected children are also in the danger of contracting cryptosporidium. Those who drink unfiltered water and those who take care of people who suffer of cryptosporidiosis are also in the danger of contracting the protozoan and getting ill.

Those who swallow water when swimming can also develop the disease, as well as those who are raising contaminated cattle. Some types of sexual behavior also rises the risk of contracting cryptosporidium, if the partners are exposed to feces. In a city where all the sources of water are clean, contamination may still appear from different other origins. In order to discover the cause of a possible epidemiology, testes must be made. The good thing is that cryptosporidium does not cause serious problems to healthy people. Children may get chronically ill and also those that are immunocompromised because of other infections, too.

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Basic Facts About Cryptosporidium

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 26 Aug 2011  | Spread the word !

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Cryptosporidium is a disease that is mostly diagnosed at people who do not have a strong immune system. Most individuals diagnosed with cryptosporidium are elderly people. Cryptosporidium is a gastrointestinal illness and of course the main symptoms are going to be associated with it. Cryptosporidium is usually formed by people who get into contact with an infested environment, most commonly by drinking water that has been contaminated or by eating foods from the same category.

Treatment must start as soon as the disease is being diagnosed and this is the main reason why people need to be careful at the signs and cryptosporidium symptoms that may indicate something is wrong with their health. Diarrhea is the most common symptom for cryptosporidium. However, there are other Cryptosporidium symptoms that need to be mentioned and abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches, as well as fever, are some of them. Anyway, such symptoms are common for many diseases and people do not find them as very alarming, this being the main reason why most cryptosporidium patients seek medical treatment weeks after the disease has been formed, when weight loss and dehydration are being experienced.

However, you should know that cryptosporidium symptoms do not occur immediately after the patient has been into contact with the contaminated environment. Cryptosporidium symptoms usually appear at about seven days after ingestion. Anyway, the best way to avoid the forming of the disease is by staying away of contaminated food or water. How can you make sure that the water you use at home is not contaminated? Well, a great idea would be to use a water filter to make sure that both Cryptosporidium and other microorganisms from water will be destroyed. Washing your hands and properly washing the foods you eat or boiling them before consumption are also ways to avoid the forming of the disease. However, once formed, you need to seek for medical help in order to receive a treatment that will help you overcome the condition. Treatment schemes can include various type of drugs therapy.

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Cryptosporidium Diagnosis

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 30 Jun 2011  | Spread the word !

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Whenever you are diagnosed with a serious disease, you are looking for the best treatment possible, of course, with the purpose to quickly find a cure for that disease. Well, receiving a bad diagnosis is never easy, but you should know that if you are positive that you will be able to overcome your health problems, you have already made the first step in that direction. Cryptosporidium definitely is a disease at which you can be sure you will be able to find a treatment to work. Anyway, treatments will always vary depending on a series of factors.

Cryptosporidium mostly affects older people and people who do not have a very strong immune system. However, you should know that the disease is the most easiest to cure when you get an early diagnosis, and when it comes to cryptosporidium there are some risk factors that favor the development of this condition, but there are also numerous symptoms that indicate there may be something wrong. One of the most common symptoms associated to cryptosporidium is diarrhea. Well, this is a symptom for a series of diseases, and this is why it is so important to have a medical check in order to get the proper diagnosis for your condition.

There are a series of possible treatments for cryptosporidium, but starting receiving one is very important, as the disease can evolve to other forms because of the dehydration process. Cryptosporidium therapy usually includes medications, but antiviral therapy may also be the answer in some cases. Cryptosporidium is actually caused by an infection that enters in the body through contaminated food or water. And when our immune system is weakened the disease forming is much easier. Cryptosporidium is an infection of the small intestines. It usually can be cured quick and treatment does not last more than a month. However, it is always better to prevent than to cure a disease and this is the main reason why we should remain careful at the risk factors and try to avoid them. Having a healthy lifestyle is the best decision when trying to avoid a series of diseases and being careful at what you eat is always a good decision.

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Cryptosporidium Help

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 02 Feb 2011  | Spread the word !

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Although there are still quite a few people who have never even heard of Cryptosporidium, it is an awful illness which primarily affects older people who have already weakened and compromised immune systems. One of the more prevalent symptoms of this condition is diarrhea, causing dehydration which can complicate it even more. Many people who get sick with this illness end up losing a lot of vitamins and minerals that they need to keep their immune system strong and working properly, leading to malnutrition which can eventually lead to death. There are a number of ways for people with Cryptosporidium to get the help they need, including drugs such as azithromycin which is a powerful antibiotic that is used for preventing infections and keeping the immune system as healthy and functional as possible.

Other drugs that have been proven to work well for this condition include paromomycin and nitazoxanide, which are very powerful medications that have been used in the treatment of this illness. Those who have the condition should seek medical attention right away, as it can become more complicated and even life-threatening if it is not treated soon after appearing and effectively. When you are trying to find the help you need to get your health under control and back to normal, you will want to explore all different options, even alternative homeopathic solution which could present some answers.

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Cryptosporidium Treatment

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 21 Jun 2010  | Spread the word !

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Cryptosporidium is a horrible illness. Although it is most potent amongst people who are already weakened (the elderly, children and people with an immune deficiency or malnourished people) the disease can also affect many people who aren’t unwell. The disease causes diarrhea which doesn’t sound too bad when you first think about it. However, the problem with diarrhea is that it essentially drains your body of many of the nutrients that you need to sustain life. This leads to malnutrition and can also lead to degeneration of your body; something from which you very rarely recover fully. One further issue is the risk of disease that comes from contaminating food or water with fecal matter. The reason why many of these diseases spread is through poor sanitation; the diarrhea leaks into the food chain and the bacteria enter more people during meals.

Like many diseases there are many treatments that can be undertaken in order to prevent the spread of the disease and ensure that you get better as soon as possible. The main drug that is used is nitazoxanide although others also include paromomycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, metronidazole, atovaquone and azithromycin. The main thing to note, however, is that these drugs are only temporary solutions; because the illness is caught mainly by people who already have an immune-deficiency the drugs will not protect them forever. Because of this, antiviral therapy is also recommended in order to strengthen your immune system again. Please remember that in the event of any illness, professional medical advice should be sought first and foremost.

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Cryptosporidium Symptoms

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 20 Apr 2010  | Spread the word !

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If you are noticing Cryptosporidium symptoms in your cat, it will be to your advantage to learn and understand every line in this article. Cryptosporidiosis in cats is one of the most quickly rising infectious diseases that can not be left untreated. It is known to be zoonotic in nature. In other words, Cryptosporidiosis can be spread naturally directly from cats to their human owners. In most cases, veterinarians believe the disease to be self limiting disease. However, if you cat is suffering from an immune compromised system, Cryptosporidiosis could be deadly.

Here’s the scary part – currently there is no cure for this disease. Cats that are highly susceptible to developing Cryptosporidium symptoms are ones who have lived in several households, kennels or shelters. It causes gastroenteritis in addition to diarrhea which in turns is caused by the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium. The organism that causes the disease is the oocyst and they are able to transfer extremely easily to other hosts. It doesn’t take many of these oocyst to infect your pet and even worse, spread the infection to you.

Cryptosporidium symptoms vary and are based on how strong your cat’s immune system is. Cats that are healthy my show virtually no signs other than a mild form of diarrhea and typically goes away after a few days. Once the diarrhea occurs, your cat will start to experience stomach cramps, loss of appetite, fever and will eventually become severely lethargic. If you cat begins show signs of any of these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian right away. Young children, babies, women are pregnant and the elderly are at an extreme risk if they come into contact with a cat who is exhibiting Cryptosporidium symptoms. In a nutshell, take extra precautions and protect your cat and your family if you suspect Cryptosporidiosis.

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Cryptosporidium Parvum

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 29 Mar 2010  | Spread the word !

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Cryptosporidium Parvum is a miniscule parasite that is found in drinking water throughout the world, although it is more commonly found in warmer climates. Cryptosporidium Parvum may be small, but this parasite can do severe damage. Should a person come into contact with it, it can wreak havoc with the digestion system and cause severe diarrhea.

Cryptosporidium Parvum and the Municipal Water

Even in cities that have the most advanced sewage systems and water treatment plants can easily become infected with cryptosporidium parvum. This is because cryptosporidium parvum is highly resistant to the treatment that destroys other bacteria and organisms in the water. Most municipalities use filtration systems in their water and this is usually enough to catch any of the parasites. Sometimes however, this is not the case and entire towns and cities can become infected with the parasite.

How does cryptosporidium parvum get into drinking water?

Dairy and beef cattle, as well as farmed elk and bison are the biggest source of the parasite entering a municipality’s drinking water. This is because cattle can become infected with the parasite and they pass it out through their dung that then stays in the field. As rain waters come and wash it away, the parasite runs across the land, and down into the city’s drinking water.

There are however, other sources. Shellfish, especially oysters, absorb the parasite and the parasite stays with them until the oyster in ingested. Raw oysters are the most common type of shellfish for carrying cryptosporidium parvum. Swimming pools sometimes also carry the parasite due to small children having accidents in the pool, or small amounts of waste leaking out through diapers.

Small pets can also sometimes carry the virus but it’s thought that the spread of the parasite this way only accounts for a small percentage. Geese however, can carry the virus and not become ill from it. And because geese travel great distances, it’s thought that they may carry the parasite from one area to another.

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Cryptosporidium in Immunocompromised People

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 22 Feb 2010  | Spread the word !

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Having contracted Cryptosporidium in the Milwaukee outbreak of 1993, I personally know how unpleasant it can be to suffer from it. I was out of school for a week and had the normal symptoms such as muscle aches and diarrhea. But I did recover it because my immune system was able to fight off the parasite. For individuals who immune system is compromised due to drugs or disease, Cryptosporidium can become a serious problem.

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell in the body and they are a major part of the immune system. There are 2 main types of lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. B cells produce antibodies and T-cells are more involved in directly attacking the pathogen. Within T cell lymphocytes, there are CD4 helper cells and CD8 cytotoxic cells. In studies done in mice, CD4 T cells appear to be the main cells that fight off the parasite by releasing chemicals in the gut.

For most of us, we may get sick but eventually our immune system is able to fight off the infection and we get better. But for people who have diseases like AIDS or are on drugs that suppress the immune system such as anticancer drugs, fighting off Cryptosporidium can be very difficult. The parasite typically affects the gut, but in AIDS patients other organ systems can be affected, such as the respiratory tract. People with AIDS who contract Cryptosporidium can also have it for long periods of time and it can even be fatal. People on immunosuppressant drugs can just have their dosage reduced until the infection is gone. There are not very good drugs out there to help immunocompromised individuals fight off Cryptosporidium, so prevention is the best solution in this case.

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How Does Cryptosporidium Get Into our Drinking Water?

Filed under: Cryptosporidium - 29 Jan 2010  | Spread the word !

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Cryptosporidium is a condition that starts off as a parasite in animals or humans. The parasite is very hard to deal with because, although it is easily passed from one person or animal to another, it is not easily destroyed. This is because the parasite can be transferred from simple things such as kissing someone, or even touching food after not washing your hands. However, the parasite also has a very hard exterior shell that makes it extremely resistant to things such as chlorine that is found in drinking water. After this, someone can drink the tap water and become infected with the parasite. This is a process that repeats itself over and over again because the parasite also multiplies itself and can then be passed on while still infecting one person. But, how does it get into our drinking water in the first place?

It usually starts when many animals, such as a herd of cattle, are infected with the parasite. These animals then excrete their waste, which is also infected with the parasite, and that waste seeps into the ground water. Rain and snow can also be contributing factors when they wash away the feces into things such as rivers and lakes. This water is then collected by water companies, treated, and distributed. However, because the parasite can stand up to the treatment, it will remain in the drinking water.

If you suspect that cryptosporidium might be present in your drinking water, you can check your local Consumer Confidence Report which will indicate the condition of the drinking water. If it’s found, using a filter should be enough to prevent you from consuming the parasite. Filters provided by NSF International are the best to use and you can find several models on their website.

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