• Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes diarrhea in people
  • People can get sick after drinking contaminated water or eating food that was washed in contaminated water


  • Diarrhea (very frequent)
  • Stomach cramps
  • In some cases, people may experience fever, nausea and vomiting
  • After swallowing the parasite, people can get sick within 1-12 days, usually within one week
  • Symptoms can come and go, and can last for up to 30 days in people who are otherwise healthy
  • People with a weakened immune system have a higher risk of long term illness and sometimes death
  • Some people may not have symptoms at all but they can spread the parasite to others
  • People who have been sick can pass the parasite in their stool for 2-6 months after they feel better


  • Cryptosporidium parasite is spread from the intestinal tract of animals, including birds, fish, reptiles, small and large mammals and people


  • Boil drinking water if the water source is not protected from surface runoff
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating
  • Cook meats thoroughly above 74 degrees Celsius (whole poultry above 82 degrees Celsius)
  • Wash hands often when working with food (especially after working/playing with animals, handling raw meat or even packages containing raw meat
  • Cases of cryptosporidium must be reported to your local Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act