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How is cryptosporidium spread?

Page last updated 28 February 2019

Cryptosporidium is spread by ingesting the parasite from contaminated food, fluids or surfaces. When you are travelling, particularly on cruises and the like, is very easily spread if an infected person isn’t careful about their hygiene. An infected person can shed millions of parasites in their faeces, and these can make their way into food and swimming pools if not careful. It can also be contracted after touching your hand that comes into contact with the parasite after touching surfaces (e.g. nappies, caring for an infected person). So if you or your travel companions are unwell, it is best to avoid others as much as possible. Even if you are not on a boat, cryptosporidium can be a threat for adventurous travellers who might consider drinking from lakes or streams. Beware - animals can also contract cryptosporidium and contaminate lakes and other untreated water sources.

Sources & Citations

  1. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Gastroenteritis - cryptosporidiosis. Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sources of infection and risk factors. Cryptosporidium. Available at: (accessed 25 October 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.10.0375 - Date of preparation October 2018