How many children are affected by cryptosporidiosis:
According to “Morbidity, mortality, and long-term consequences associated with diarrhoea from Cryptosporidium infection in children younger than 5 years: a meta-analysis study” published in Lancet Global Health, Volume 6, July 2018:
In 2016 cryptosporidiosis was estimated to cause:
- 48,000 deaths in children under the age of 5
- 44.8 million episodes of cryptosporidiosis (children may experience more than one infection/episode per year)
- 4.2 million disability adjusted life-years caused by acute cryptosporidiosis
- an additional 7.84 million disability adjusted life-years when accounting for the additional effects on growth faltering
Article can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29903377
How is cryptosporidiosis treated?
Immunocompetent patients (includes children over 5 years old and adults with a health immune system) recover without treatment usually within two weeks. If symptoms persist, nitazoxanide is typically prescribed in the USA. Young children, malnourished children, the elderly, or the immunocompromised (those undergoing organ transplant, advanced HIV/AIDS, etc) may not be able to recover on their own and nitazoxanide has not been show to be effective for this population. In this event, correct diagnosis and care by a physician is critical.
How do I protect myself from exposure to Cryptosporidium?
- If contamination a water source is suspected, boil according to the advisory.
- Do not let your kids use swimming pools while they have diarrhoea. Wait at least 2 weeks until the symptoms are gone.
- Make sure children take frequent bathroom breaks when at the swimming pool.
- Do not ingest swimming pool water.
- Wash your hands after changing children’s diapers.
- Shower for 1 minute before you get in the pool
Where can I learn more about Cryptosporidium?
The CDC website is a great source of information: