Skip to main content

Is cryptosporidium contagious?

Page last updated 03 July 2020

Yes, cryptosporidium is highly contagious and spreads easily from an infected person (who sheds millions of parasites in their faeces). Therefore, any slip up in proper hygiene or food preparation practices can transmit the parasite to unsuspecting travellers. People who are feeling unwell and experiencing diarrhoea, you may not realise that they are contaminating surfaces and putting others at risk. For those who like to get out amongst nature, cryptosporidium can still be a problem. It’s not just people who spread the disease – animals can too. It can also be contracted by drinking from untreated water sources like lakes or streams where infected animals may have contaminated them. Therefore you should think twice before filling up that water bottle on a hike through the forest.

If you or your travel companions are unwell, consider others and avoid public areas as much as possible. Also, avoid entering swimming pools or spas for at least two weeks after symptoms of the disease have stopped to make sure you don’t pose a risk to others.

Sources & Citations

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Parasites – Cryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”). General Information for the Public. Available at: (accessed 11 June 2020).

3. Victoria State Government health.vic. Cryptosporisiosis. Available at: (accessed 11 June 2020).

4. NSW Government Health. Cryptosporidiosis Communicable Diseases Factsheet. Available at: (accessed 11 June 2020).


MAT-AU-2000155 - Date of preparation June 2020