CDC Warns Fecal Parasite Found In Public Pools Is On The Rise

If you’re heading to a public pool anytime soon you should know that “crypto,” a diarrhea-causing fecal parasite is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Cryptosporidium — which causes cryptosporidiosis — can lead to “profuse, watery diarrhea” among healthy adults that can last as long as three weeks.  “The number of treated recreational water-associated outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium drives the summer seasonal peak in both waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks overall,” according to the CDC, which released a report Friday.

Although the bug’s almost never fatal, one death has been reported since 2009 — while 287 people were hospitalized between 2009 and 2017, according to the CDC, which found that the US has experienced a 13 percent spike in crypto outbreaks per year over time.  The agency said exposure to the parasite in pools and water parks caused 7,465 illnesses during that time.

Crypto is usually spread by people — particularly children — who swim too soon after having suffered from diarrhea.  Leading causes include swallowing contaminated water in hot tubs, pools or water playgrounds, as well as contact with infected cattle people in child-care settings, according to the CDC.  Unlike most germs, which are killed within minutes by disinfectants like chlorine or bromine, crypto has a high tolerance for chlorine and can survive in chlorinated water for up to a week, the agency says.  In addition to watery diarrhea, symptoms of the contamination include stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss.  For some whose immune systems are compromised, crypto may lead to life-threatening malnutrition and wasting.  Anyone suffering from diarrhea should avoid swimming until at least two weeks after their case subsides, the agency says.

To read the CDC report: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)

Photo Credit: CDC

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Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan