Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes cryptosporidosis (diarrheal disease). It’s commonly called “Crypto”, and it’s extremely common around the world in surface waters. It is another microbe that is carried in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, and is most often transferred via water.
Cryptosporidium, much like giardia, is protected by a thick outer shell when it’s in it’s cyst stage, allowing it to survive long periods in the environment, and also gives it a high resistance to chlorine and chemical treatment.
Crypto has similar symptoms to giardiasis, but it also often accompanied by a fever. It has a much shorter incubation period (2-10 days), and has a much shorter duration.
Cryptosporidium in well water is yet another sign that some form of surface or fecal contamination has reached your well water. Heavy rains, flooding events, well construction failures, or compromised aquifers all increase the chances of Crypto showing up in your well water.
To find out more about cryptosporidium and it’s effects and treatment, check out the CDC website here.