CDC: Outbreaks of diarrhea-inducing parasite Crypto on the rise in pools


Preliminary data indicate that outbreaks of Cryptosporidium are increasingly being reported to CDC.

For example, parents might spread the parasite if they change a child's crypto-contaminated diaper and then hop in the water without properly washing their hands, Kan said.

The crypto can survive up to 10 days in the chlorinated pool water as it waits for an unwilling victim to accidentally swallow or get poo-water up in their noses.

"To help protect your family and friends from Crypto and other diarrhea-causing germs, do not swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea", said Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming Program.

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"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.

"Young swimmers aged under 5 years are more likely to contaminate the water because they are more likely to have inadequate toileting and hygiene skills; therefore, prevention efforts should focus on their parents", the CDC team wrote in their report. Such outbreaks highlighted the difficulties that treated recreational water venues have with crypto, and the CDC noted that the number of people who can become infected by a small number of germs is remarkable. 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.

A person can get ill from cryptosporidiosis after being exposed to contaminated swimming pool water, water in water parks, drinking water and food, as well as from contact with people or animals who have been infected. Arizona identified 352 people sick with Crypto for July-October 2016, compared with no more than 62 cases for any one year in 2011-2015. OH identified 1,940 Crypto incidents in 2016 while comparing with no more than 571 cases for any one year in 2012-2015.

"Swim diapers do not contain diarrhea", she said.

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Shower before getting in the water.

Between 2008 and 2015, mishandled pool chemicals harmed about 190 people in California in nine separate incidents, the report noted.

Workers need to read the label on pool chemicals, follow the directions and wear proper safety equipment, Hlavsa said. Symptoms of inhaled chlorine gas included vomiting, coughing and eye irritation.

The Centers for Disease Control said Crypto illness outbreaks are on the rise.

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