Cryptosporidiosis (crypto) is an illness caused by a parasite. The parasite lives in soil, food and water. It may also be on surfaces that have been contaminated with waste. You can become infected if you swallow the parasite.
The most common symptom of crypto is watery diarrhea. Most people with crypto get better with no treatment, but crypto can cause serious problems in people with weak immune systems such as in people with AIDS. To reduce your risk of crypto, wash your hands often, avoid water that may be infected, and wash or peel fresh fruits and vegetables before eating.