sábado, 3 de agosto de 2013

CDC - Cryptosporidiosis - Epidemiology & Risk Factors

CDC - Cryptosporidiosis - Epidemiology & Risk Factors

07/31/2013 07:59 AM EDT

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Related MedlinePlus Page: Cryptosporidiosis
07/31/2013 07:59 AM EDT

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Related MedlinePlus Page: Cryptosporidiosis

Epidemiology & Risk Factors

Crypto lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. An infected person or animal sheds Cryptosporidium parasites in the stool. Millions of Crypto parasites can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Shedding begins when the symptoms begin and can last for weeks after the symptoms (e.g., diarrhea) stop. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite. Crypto may be found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. Crypto is not spread by contact with blood. Crypto can be spread:
  • By putting something in your mouth or accidentally swallowing something that has come in contact with the stool of a person or animal infected with Crypto.
  • By swallowing water or beverages contaminated by stool from infected humans or animals.
  • By eating uncooked food contaminated with Crypto. All fruits and vegetables you plan to eat raw should be thoroughly washed with uncontaminated water.
  • By touching your mouth with contaminated hands. Hands can become contaminated through a variety of activities, such as:
    • touching surfaces (e.g., toys, bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails) that have been contaminated by stool from an infected person,
    • changing diapers,
    • caring for an infected person, and
    • handling an infected cow or calf.
Hikers who drink from unfiltered, untreated water sources are at higher risk for Crypto infection.
Hikers who drink from unfiltered, untreated water sources are at higher risk for Crypto infection.
People with greater exposure to contaminated materials are more at risk for infection, such as:
  • Children who attend day care centers, including diaper-aged children
  • Child care workers
  • Parents of infected children
  • People who take care of other people with cryptosporidiosis
  • International travelers
  • Backpackers, hikers, and campers who drink unfiltered, untreated water
  • People who drink from untreated shallow, unprotected wells
  • People, including swimmers, who swallow water from contaminated sources
  • People who handle infected cattle
  • People exposed to human feces through sexual contact
Contaminated water may include water that has not been boiled or filtered, as well as contaminated recreational water sources. Several community-wide outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have been linked to drinking municipal water or recreational water contaminated with Cryptosporidium.
Cryptosporidium parasites are found in every region of the United States and throughout the world. Travelers to developing countries may be at greater risk for infection because of poorer water treatment and food sanitation, but cryptosporidiosis occurs worldwide. In the United States, an estimated 748,000 cases of cryptosporidiosis occur each year[1].
Once infected, people with decreased immunity are most at risk for severe disease. The risk of developing severe disease may differ depending on each person's degree of immune suppression.

  1. Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Widdowson MA, Roy SL, Jones JL, Griffin PM. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States--major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(1):7-15.

Child Care Facilities

Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto) is a gastrointestinal illness, caused by the parasite, Cryptosporidium. This disease is a common cause of diarrhea in children, especially in child care settings. The hallmark symptom of Crypto is watery diarrhea, which might be accompanied by stomach ache, nausea and vomiting, fever, and a general sick feeling. Healthy people infected with the parasite almost always get better without any treatment but treatment is available by prescription. An unusual feature of cryptosporidiosis is that some people seem to get better only to have the diarrhea come back in a few days. Symptoms can come and go for up to 30 days, but usually subside in 1 to 2 weeks. However, Crypto can cause severe and prolonged disease in persons with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS or those taking drugs that suppress the immune system.
Because the parasite is in feces, anything that gets contaminated by feces can potentially spread the parasite. As a result, the parasite can be spread directly from person-to-person, through contact with contaminated objects (e.g., toys), or by swallowing contaminated food or water (drinking and recreational) or food. Crypto outbreaks in child care settings are most common during late summer/early fall (August/September) but might occur at any time. The spread of cryptosporidiosis is highest among young children who are not toilet trained and their caregivers (those who change diapers).
Good hygiene practices can help prevent cryptosporidiosis outbreaks.

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