Cryptosporidium is an protozoa that can cause diarrhea. Cryptosporidium is mostly commonly seen in HIV positive patients and is the most common cause of chronic diarrhea in HIV patients. Cryptosporidium oocysts are 4-6 µm in diameter and exhibit partial acid-fast staining.
Environmental exposures include: People who swim regularly in pools with insufficient sanitation, hikers who drink untreated water, people who handle infected cattle.
Symptoms usually appear one week after infection which include:
- watery diarrhea
- stomach cramps/pain
- weight loss