What should be included in patient education about cryptosporidiosis?

Updated: Nov 11, 2019
  • Author: Melinda B Tanabe, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Thorough hand washing should be practiced by patients with diarrhea to avoid the spread of the disease. The effectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers has not been well studied, and their use should not be recommended.

Subjects with diarrhea should avoid using public swimming pools during their illness and at least 2 weeks after diarrhea has subsided.

Encourage immunocompromised patients to consider using 1-μm water filters when drinking tap water. Also consider boiled or bottled drinking water for patients who are immunocompromised, particularly those with HIV who have fewer than 200 CD4 cells/µL. Persons living in countries with a high risk of transmission should also be encouraged to use bottled or filtered water.

Immunocompromised patients (eg, patients with AIDS or solid organ transplant recipients) should avoid newborn animals (eg, calves, lambs), including domestic animals, and people with diarrhea. They should also consider avoiding communal recreational water such as public swimming pools. New pets for patients with AIDS should be older than 6 months and should not have diarrhea.

Instruct patients with AIDS, daycare workers, food handlers, and healthcare workers to avoid fecal-oral spread by wearing gloves and washing their hands after contact with human feces. Spread can occur after activities such as changing diapers.


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