Disclaimer: This section is for informational purposes only. Please check with your health care provider for additional information.
HIV INFECTION AND
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can cause severe symptoms such as watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting. Cryptosporidium is present everywhere in the environment. Waterborne outbreaks of cryptosporidium infection have been documented in association with unsafe drinking water. Therefore, we would like to inform our patients of the following recommendations to help minimize the chances of getting cryptosporidium.
1 . Boiling your drinking water for at least two minutes appears to be the most economical approach to this problem. The water can then be cooled and stored in capped containers that have been carefully cleaned and rinsed with the boiled water.
2. Use distilled water. You might wish to enhance the taste of the distilled water with a slice of lemon or lime.
3. If you choose to use a water filtration system, make sure the filter can remove particles as small as half a micron(O.5um). Most filter systems that use carbon or sand will not filter out cryptosporidium cysts. Most reverse osmosis systems that can be installed in your house are fine. However, the cost can be high and the system will need regular maintenance and filter changes to operate properly.
4. At this time the only brand of bottled water that advertises that it is "cryptosporidiumfree" is Sparklett’s (regular or"Crystal-fresh",also available from Aqua-Vend machines). Bottled water companies must only adhere to the same testing and monitoring guidelines as the municipal water supplies.
However, the Sparkletts Co. claims to use a filtering process which is sufficient to remove cryptosporidium.To avoid other exposure risks: the water that you use to make ice cubes, for washing raw fruits and vegetables, or for brushing your teeth, should also be boiled or filtered with the above mentioned systems. When you dine out in a restaurant, refrain from chewing on ice cubes or drinking the water. Order tea, coffee or any beverage that has been boiled. Soft drinks from a bottle or can are also fine.Other possible sources of infection include eating uncooked, contaminated produce; drinking water from a river, pool or lake; drinking unpasteurized dairy products; sex involving fecal-oral contact; or touching contaminated soil or infected people or animals without wearing gloves or washing hands thoroughly afterwards. Fruits and vegetables to be eaten raw should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and peeled, if possible.
AIDSINFOSOURCE is an excellent resource to learn more about new treatment options.
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