What is a Cyst?

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2011 05:32PM CDT
A cyst is the survivable form that parasites take on when they leave the host (you, me, your dog, etc...). The parasite goes dormant and grows a thick covering like an egg which allows it to survive in water or soil for long periods of time. The covering even allows it to survive the chlorine-based disinfectants typically used by the water treatment industry. The most common types of cyst that cause disease in humans are Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

These intestinal parasite cysts "hatch" when ingested by humans and cause intestinal disease. The diseases are not life threatening if treated, but can be dangerous to people with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms Include:

Diarrhea
Abdominal cramping
Nausea
Vomiting
Fever
Headache
Loss of appetite

Common Topics



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