Cryptosporidium is a microbe which is carried in the gut of humans and animals. It can cause diarrhoea, stomach pain and occasionally nausea and vomiting.
How did I get it?
It can be associated with direct contact with an infected person or animal, by drinking contaminated milk or water, or from a contaminated swimming pool.
What is the incubation period?
This is the delay between the microbe entering your body and you becoming unwell. It is normally 7 days, but can be any time from 1 to 12 days.
How do I treat it?
Cryptosporidium normally clears up on its own without treatment. However, if yur symptoms persist and you are concerned, see your doctor for advice.
How can I avoid passing it on?
- Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, handling soiled bedding/clothes, changing nappies and before preparing and eating food
- Ensure that door and toilet handles, taps and loo seats are cleaned regularly
Should I stay away from work or school?
You should stay away from work or school until you have had no symptoms for at least 24 hours. You do not need to stay away if you have been in contact with someone who has cryptosporidium if you have no symptoms yourself.
If you are a food handler or working with vulnerable groups, e.g. residents in nursing homes or children in nurseries, you should stay away from work until you have not had any symptoms for at least 2 days. You should also notify your employer and comply with any company rules regarding clearance to return to work.