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Key Messages:

  • Cryptosporidiosis (crypto) cases are on the rise in Victoria.
  • Some infections are linked to public swimming pools, with people attending while infectious.
  • To prevent water contamination, refrain from swimming during and two weeks after diarrhoea stops.
  • Health professionals, when encountering gastroenteritis, consider cryptosporidiosis, especially in recent pool users.

Cryptosporidium Infection Overview:

  • Caused by Cryptosporidium parasite, leading to gastroenteritis.
  • Notifiable condition.
  • Spread through contaminated water, uncooked food, and contact with infected people or animals.
  • Infection requires oral intake of the parasite.


  • Mainly watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and, less commonly, fever and vomiting.
  • Lasts 1 to 2 weeks in those with normal immune systems.


  • Microscopic examination of faecal samples or PCR test in a pathology lab.

Incubation Period: 1 to 12 days, averaging 7 days.

Infectious Period:

  • Begins with symptom development.
  • Lasts several weeks after symptoms disappear.


  • No specific treatment for those with normal immune systems.
  • Limited options for immune-suppressed individuals.
  • General recommendations for gastroenteritis treatment.

When to Seek Medical Advice:

  • Signs of dehydration, fever, severe abdominal pain, or bloody diarrhoea.


  • Exclude infected individuals from childcare, school, and work until 24 hours symptom-free.
  • Thorough handwashing, especially after handling infected individuals, food, using the toilet, gardening, changing diapers, and contact with animals.
  • Caution with water and food consumption in unsafe environments.
  • Avoid swimming for 14 days after diarrhoea stops.
  • Proper measures for babies/small children in pools and in case of accidents.
  • Caution with bath-sharing and proper disinfection.
  • Avoid contact with farm animals.
  • Wash/peel raw fruits and vegetables.

Stay informed and take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of cryptosporidiosis.

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