Splashing in the pool has always been a perfect way to cool down for summer. However, recent news about diarrhea outbreaks is being linked to cryptosporidium parasites in swimming pools.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the parasitic infection known as ‘crypto’ has been on the rise in the United States. The parasite infection can make “healthy people sick for up to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration.”
Swimming pools have long been the perfect get away for summer activities.
Although recent outbreaks had been recorded in the United States, the said parasite can actually be found worldwide. Crypto is really hard to kill since it can survive the standard levels of chlorine and other pool disinfectants. Once a pool has been confirmed to be contaminated, CDC recommends closure of it and conduct long hours of “hyperchlorination.”
Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Both the parasite and the disease are commonly known as “Crypto.”
Meanwhile, pool goers can follow these simple guidelines to prevent outbreaks. First, always make it a point to shower before jumping in that pool. Next, if you recently had diarrhea, better stay away from the waters.
Parents are also advised to let their little ones have frequent bathroom breaks during swimming. Changing diapers should also be done in a separate area away from the pool.
This chart shows the increasing number of Crypto outbreaks in the United States.
To avoid getting sick, CDC advise not to swallow any water while you swim, which is of course nearly impossible. The thing is you only need to ingest a mouthful of contaminated water to acquire the parasite.
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People with healthy immune system will likely to recover without treatment, but dehydration from prolonged diarrhea can be fatal. Meanwhile, people who are in poor health or immune-compromised are at a higher risk for more severe and prolonged illness.
Better be safe than sorry. Always follow the guidelines mentioned above and have respect to other people who are there on the swimming pool with you.