Cryptosporidium lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. Millions of crypto parasites can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Consequently, Cryptosporidium is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected human or animal feces.
The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhea.
A few years back, there was an outbreak of Crypto Sporidium in my Kansas hometown. Some infected kid shi.t in the town’s only public pool during a hot, hot summer. Within days we had an epidemic on our hands.
My friends and I laughed off the epidemic, congratulating ourselves on being too smart to go swimming in the public pool (due to an already solid reputation for being nasty).
After a few months, the epidemic took its course and everyone could safely forget that they had ever become acquainted with the term “Crypto Sporidium.”
That is, until last weekend, when during a fit of binge drinking with my newly married best friend, dark secrets that had remained buried for years rose to the surface. Here’s how it went down:
Setting: van full of drunk people, Dallas, ~11pm
S.Michael: mumble mumble mumble Crypto Sporidium mumble mumble….
Me (joking): S.Michael! You never told me you got Crypto Sporidium!
S.Michael (whipping his head around to look at his new wife): YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO TELL THEM!
Me: I was joking. Wait a minute, you really had Crypto Sporidium?
S.Michael: (awkward silence)
Me: YOU DICK! Each bowel movement releases millions of parasites! All your friends could have got that off your toilet seat! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU KEPT THIS SECRET FROM YOUR BEST FRIEND FOR FIVE YEARS.
It turns out that S.Michael and his future wife had clandestinely gone swimming in the public pool at the height of the epidemic. He claims that for the first week he innocently attributed the sudden uptick in bowel movements to the effects of unchecked binge drinking and that it wasn’t until the second week that he considered a connection between 1. Extreme diarrhea epidemic at public pool, 2. Taking a swim at said public pool, and 3. Experiencing extreme diarrhea immediately thereafter.
Be that as it may, this is no excuse for HIDING the fact that he had Crypto Sporidium at whichever point he realized it, as revealing his situation could have led to increased precautions on the part of his friends.
Crypto Sporidium may never have affected my intestines, but it has now infected my heart. I will never trust again.
© idyllicmollusk 4/25/08