CDC says parasite could be lurking in swimming pools

Model and Property Released

Model and Property Released

Outbreaks caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium, which is often seen in swimming pools, have more than doubled from 2014 to 2106, CDC researchers reported. It can survive for up to 10 days, even in well-treated pools.

It makes sense that the CDC would urge people not to swim if they have diarrhea but a new survey by the Water Quality and Health Council found that 1 in 4 adults would swim within one hour of having diarrhea, half of adults seldom or never shower before swimming in a pool, and that 3 in 5 adults admit to swallowing pool water while swimming. After that, it will be two to three weeks of suffering from stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea for the unlucky person. The only way to ensure the health of the water once its been infected is to close the pool and treat it with extremely high levels of chlorine that are risky for humans to swim in.

Take children on bathroom breaks regularly, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the swimming pool.

Before you cancel your child's swim lessons, however, the CDC said it's not sure what accounts for the rise in recorded outbreaks. And to keep from getting sick, the CDC advises swimmers not to swallow pool water.

There are various ways in which parasites infect different species but the crypto - a common cause of diarrhea - can be contacted when a person ingests anything that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person.

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CDC encourages swimmers to help protect themselves, family, and friends from Cryptosporidium and other germs in the water we swim in.

"Those outbreaks highlight the ongoing challenges that treated recreational water venues have with crypto due to how hard it is to kill and the small number of germs that can make people sick", the agency said. OH identified 1,940 Crypto incidents in 2016 while comparing with no more than 571 cases for any one year in 2012-2015.

Arizona last year reported that 352 people became sick with Cryptosporidiosis from July through October, compared with no more than 62 cases per year from 2011 to 2015. For example, Arizona used CryptoNet in 2016 to confirm the spread of a particular type of Crypto in multiple swimming pools in the Phoenix area.

"Health care providers should also instruct cryptosporidiosis patients not to go back into the water until they have been diarrhea-free for two weeks", the team added.

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week begins on May 22.

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