Drinking Water and People with
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), drinking water is not the primary pathway for infection by Giardia or Cryptosporidium.
However, some people may be more vulnerable to these contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants or dialysis, and people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders can be at increased risk from these protozoa. People who are immuno-compromised should seek advice from their health care providers to make the right decisions about water consumption.
Although data are not sufficient for EPA/CDC to recommend that all severely immuno-compromised persons take extra caution with regards to their drinking water, individuals who wish to take extra measures to avoid waterborne Cryptosporidiosis can bring their drinking water to a full boil for one minute. Boiling water is the most effective way of killing Cryptosporidium.
If you are immuno-compromised, there is a wealth of information available to help you make the correct decision about extra precautions you may need to take.
Appropriate ways to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants in drinking water are available from the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800) 426-4791 and from CDC's Fact Sheets on Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
For more information, please contact:
Updated February 7, 2008