Cryptosporidiosis is yet another Zoonotic disease. It is caused by infection with the single-celled parasite – Cryptosporidium parvum. This parasite is found in many mammals including lambs, calves, goat kids, piglets and humans.
It can be very frustrating to deal with since it occurs very commonly, is difficult or impossible to get rid of completely, and is not readily treatable.
Humans are infected by consuming food or water contaminated with the organism or by failing to wash their hands after exposure to infected feces or animals. Most people who are infected do not become sick. For those individuals that show clinical signs, explosive diarrhea and abdominal pain are common. Vomiting, fever, and muscle cramps may also occur. Young children, pregnant women, and immune compromised adults are most severely affected.
Calves with diarrhea should be separated from healthy ones, and the infected area disinfected with bleach. Prevention efforts in humans focus on hand washing, especially after handling or being around animals and before eating or handling food.
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