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How to Recognize Cryptosporidium

 Posted on June 14, 2024 in Food poisoning attorney

Chicago food poisoning attorneyCryptosporidium, often referred to simply as “crypto,” is a microscopic parasite that can cause a nasty intestinal infection called cryptosporidiosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), crypto is one of the leading causes of waterborne illness in the United States. An Illinois lawyer can help you understand how important it is to be aware of this health risk and how to seek potential compensation for your illness.

Know the Symptoms

The telltale signs of a crypto infection usually appear within two to 10 days after exposure. Watery diarrhea is the most common symptom, which can last several weeks and lead to dehydration if not properly managed. Other symptoms may include:

  • Stomach cramps or pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

In people with weakened immune systems, symptoms can be more severe and potentially life-threatening. Young children, pregnant women, and the elderly are also at higher risk for complications.

How Cryptosporidium Spreads

Crypto is most commonly spread through contaminated water, such as in swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and streams. An outer shell that allows it to survive for long periods outside the body and makes it resistant to chlorine protects the parasite.

Swallowing even a small amount of contaminated water can lead to infection. Crypto can also spread through contact with the feces of infected people or animals or by consuming contaminated food. Childcare settings and agricultural fairs where there is contact with young animals are common sites of outbreaks.

Get Properly Diagnosed

If you suspect a crypto infection, see your doctor right away. You will likely need to provide a stool sample to test for the presence of the parasite. Multiple samples may be required for accurate diagnosis in some cases since the number of parasites passed in stool can fluctuate.

There is no specific treatment for crypto, and antibiotics are not effective against this parasite. Most people with healthy immune systems will recover within a few weeks. The key is to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. In severe cases, treatment may be needed to manage diarrhea, dehydration, or other complications.

Prevent the Spread

If you or someone in your household has been diagnosed with crypto, take steps to avoid spreading it to others:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food
  • Do not swim for at least two weeks after the diarrhea stops
  • Wash dirty linens and clothing on the highest heat setting

Work With a Chicago, IL Food Poisoning Attorney

Crypto is a serious illness that can have major health consequences. Knowing how to recognize the symptoms, get properly diagnosed, and prevent the spread is key. Do not hesitate to seek legal guidance from a Chicago, IL food poisoning lawyer if needed. Call Newland & Newland, LLP at 312-981-0409 to start with a free consultation to see if you may have a case.

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