CDC Warns of Rising Threat of Fecal Parasite in Swimming Pools

CDC Warns of Rising Threat of Fecal Parasite in Swimming Pools

CDC Warns of Rising Threat of Fecal Parasite in Swimming Pools

Between 2009 and 2017, cryptosporidiosis outbreaks rose 13 percent, with 444 cases reported in 40 USA states and Puerto Rico.

The parasite is nothing new - but it is on the rise, the CDC reports, which is somewhat concerning.

Outbreaks of Cryptosporidium-thankfully also known as Crypto-in the United States increased an average of 13 percent each year from 2009 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"People who are completely healthy may just not feel really good and may not have any exact symptoms like that or feel just kind of a little run down, but others again who are immune compromised onset can be very quickly and it can last a long time and it could require hospitalization", explained Cox.

In total, 7,465 people fell ill as a result of the outbreaks - a third of which were contracted through recreational water sources, such as public swimming pools, kiddie pools and waterpark playgrounds. As many as 287 people were hospitalized between 2009 and 2017, according to the CDC. Most of the cases were found in the months of July and August.

It's also worth noting the one death from cryptosporidiosis came in the sole instance in which the parasite was transmitted in a hospital setting. (Phew!) But the CDC does urge parents to keep their children away from pools if they spot any signs of diarrhea at all, so as not to contaminate the water, and to shower after swimming to prevent the transmission of the parasite.

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Why pools?: The reason the parasite is particularly a problem in pools is because "an infected swimmer can excrete the parasite at several orders of magnitude higher than the amount necessary to cause infection", according to CNN. Cryptosporidium has a high tolerance to chlorine and can survive in a properly chlorinated pool for up to seven days, the CDC says.

The CDC website has some measures to prevent the spread of "crypto".

In terms of children, health officials say any child suffering from diarrhea should not be placed in child care. "Someone sick with Crypto can have diarrhea for up to three weeks".

Families not allow kids to swim if they have diarrhea.

Wash hands with soap and water after swimming or coming into contact with animals.

Written by Eliott C. McLaughlin for CNN.

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