Cryptosporidium is a single celled protozoan parasite that is found within the intestinal tract and causes an infection known as cryptosporidiosis – a gastroenteritis type infection. There are 6,000 cases of cryptosporidiosis confirmed in the UK each year caused by this waterborne pathogen and it is thought that there are many more unreported cases as the only way to confirm Cryptosporidium infection is by a stool sample.
The infection is known to cause vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. The condition can be contracted by anyone however the condition is particularly harmful to those with a weekend immune system such as children, the elderly or people who’s immune system has been compromised due to a medical condition. There is currently no known treatment for the infection and it can take up to four weeks for the immune system to combat the infection.