Prevention & Control - General Public
The following recommendations are intended to help prevent and control cryptosporidiosis (or “Crypto” for short) in members of the general public. For recommendations for immunocompromised persons, please see Prevention & Control – Immunocompromised Persons.
Practice Good Hygiene Everywhere
- Help keep yourself and your loved ones healthy by washing your hands often with soap and water, especially during key times when you are likely to spread germs.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not effective against Crypto. Washing hands at key times with soap and water can help prevent infections.
At childcare facilities
- Exclude children who are sick with diarrhea from childcare settings until the diarrhea has stopped.
- Clean, sanitize, or disinfect toys and surfaces to prevent germs from spreading easily.
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water to keep kids and caregivers healthy.
- Move adults with diarrhea to jobs that minimize opportunities for spreading Crypto (for example, to administrative work instead of food or drink preparation).
At the pool, lake, and other places we swim
- Do not swim or let kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
- If crypto is diagnosed, wait 2 weeks after diarrhea has stopped to go swimming.
- Do not swallow the water.
- Take young children on bathroom breaks or check their diapers every 60 minutes.
- Change diapers in a bathroom or diaper-changing area—not waterside—to keep germs and poop out of the water.
Avoid Water That Might Be Contaminated
- Do not drink untreated water or use untreated ice from lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, streams, or shallow wells.
- Follow advice given during local drinking water advisories.
- If the safety of the drinking water is in doubt (for example, if water source is unknown), use at least one of the following:
- Commercially bottled water
- Water that has been previously boiled for at least 1 minute and left to cool. At elevations above 6,500 feet (1,981 meters), boil for 3 minutes.
- A filter designed to remove Crypto.
- The label might read ‘NSF 53’ or ‘NSF 58.’
- Filter labels that read “absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller” are also effective.
Avoid Food That Might Be Contaminated
- If you drink milk or apple cider, only buy if it has been pasteurized.
- Do not eat fruits and vegetables washed in water that might be contaminated.
Practice Extra Caution While Traveling
- Do not use or drink inadequately treated water or use ice when traveling in countries where the water might be unsafe.
- Avoid eating uncooked foods when traveling in countries where the food supply might be unsafe.
Practice Safer Sex
- Wait to have sex (vaginal, anal, and oral) for 2 weeks after you no longer have diarrhea. Patients typically stop having Crypto in their poop within 2 weeks after symptoms completely stop.
- Reduce your contact with poop during sex by:
- Washing your hands, genitals, and anus with soap and water before and after sexual activity.
- Using barrier methods during sex. Barrier methods include condoms, dental dams, and cut-open condoms. Sex includes oral (mouth-to-penis, mouth-to-vagina, mouth-to-anus), anal (penis-to-anus), and vaginal (penis-to-vagina) sex. Using latex gloves during anal fingering or fisting.
- Using condoms the right way, every time you have anal and vaginal sex, which will also help prevent other sexually transmitted infections.
- Washing your hands with soap and water immediately after touching a used condom or other barrier method.
- Washing sex toys with soap and water after each use, and washing hands after touching used sex toys.