Caldwell County Health Department Sees Increase in Cryptosporidiosis

LENOIR, NC (October 18, 2023) ⇒ The Caldwell County Health Department has seen an increase in cryptosporidiosis, commonly known as “Crypto.”

The disease is caused by microscopic parasites called Cryptosporidium, which can be found on surfaces, including hands, or in food and water that have been contaminated with human or animal feces infected with the parasite.

Symptoms of Crypto generally begin two to 10 days after being infected with the parasite. The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea, which typically last one to two weeks.

Thorough handwashing is the best prevention for crypto. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not effective against Crypto. People should always wash hands:
• After going to the bathroom
• Before preparing foods, eating, or drinking
• After taking off dirty clothes or shoes
• After touching animals or their living area
• After leaving the animal area

When washing hands, remember to:
• Wet hands with clean, running water.
• Apply soap.
• Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub well, including backs of hands, between and under fingernails.
• Rub hands at least 20 seconds.
• Rinse hands.
• Dry hands using a clean paper towel or air dry them. Do not try hands on clothing.

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