You might want to be more careful when you go to swimming pools this summer. A new CDC report shows that the number of parasitic infections from swimming pools is increasing. In 2016, there were 32 outbreaks of parasitic infections registered in the US, as compared to 2014, when there were only 16 outbreaks. One of the most well-known swimming pool infection is caused by Cryptosporidium (Crypto).
- The most common parasitic infection taken in swimming pools is Crypto.
- The parasite can survive in a swimming pool for ten days.
- Crypto can cause severe dehydration and diarrhea.
A person can contract Crypto if they swallow something which came into contact with an infected person’s feces. This is why the risk is higher in swimming pools. Chlorine, the substance used to clean pools and kill bacteria, is not strong enough to kill Crypto. Also, the parasite can survive up to 10 days even in the cleanest pool.
This parasitic infection is the most common cause of diarrheal diseases contracted from water playgrounds and swimming pools. It is enough to accidentally swallow a mouthful of contaminated water and you get infected. Afterwards, you can feel sick for up to three weeks. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The infection is so strong that it can lead to dehydration.
“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,” Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program
Specialists are advising people to be very careful when they go to swimming pools. They should avoid swallowing water, since it can contain a lot of bacteria. Also, people who know they are suffering from Crypto infections should avoid going into water. Specialists say swimming pool administrators should be extra cautions this year.
If a Crypto outbreak starts from a swimming pool, the place needs to be closed and treated with higher levels of chlorine. Also, pools need cleaning every day to avoid the spread of bacteria. People who had Crypto should wait 2 more weeks after the symptoms disappear before they can go swimming again.
Image source: Wikipedia