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You Can Prevent Cryptosporidiosis

How Can I Protect Myself from Crypto? continued...

How Can I Protect Myself from Crypto?

You can reduce your risk of getting crypto. The more steps you take, the less likely you are to get crypto. These actions will also help protect you against other diseases.

1. Wash your hands.Washing your hands often with soap and water is probably the single most important step you can take to prevent crypto and other illnesses.Always wash your hands before eating and preparing food. Wash your hands well after touching children in diapers; after touching clothing, bedding, toilets, or bed pans soiled by someone who has diarrhea; after gardening; any time you touch pets or other animals; and after touching anything that might have had contact with even the smallest amounts of human or animal stool, including dirt in your garden and other places. Even if you wear gloves when you do these activities you should still wash your hands well when you finish. Children should be supervised by adults to make sure they wash their hands well.

2. Practice safer sex. Infected people may have crypto on their skin in the anal and genital areas, including the thighs and buttocks. However, since you cannot tell if someone has crypto, you may want to take these precautions with any sex partner: Rimming (kissing or licking the anus) is so likely to spread infection that you should avoid it, even if you and your partner wash well before. Always wash your hands well after touching your partner's anus or rectal area.

3. Avoid touching farm animals. If you touch a farm animal, particularly a calf, lamb, or other young animal, or visit a farm where animals are raised, wash your hands well with soap and water before preparing food or putting anything in your mouth. Do not touch the stool of any animal. After you visit a farm or other area with animals, have someone who is not HIV infected clean your shoes, or if you clean them yourself, wear disposable gloves. Wash your hands after taking off the gloves.

4. Avoid touching the stool of pets. Most pets are safe to own. However,someone who is not HIV infected should clean their litter boxes or cages, and dispose of the waste. If you must clean up after a pet, use disposable gloves. Wash your hands afterwards. The risk of getting crypto is greatest from pets that are less than 6 months old, animals that have diarrhea, and stray animals. Older animals can also have crypto, but they are less likely to have it than younger animals. If you get a puppy or kitten that is less than 6 months old, have the animal tested for crypto before bringing it home. If any pet gets diarrhea have it tested for crypto.

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