Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

CDC says parasite could be lurking in swimming pools

CDC says parasite could be lurking in swimming pools

Meanwhile, the only way to ensure your own health is to take precautions when swimming in pools or playing at water parks.

The findings emerged this week - as the CDC warns there is a growing cases of infections caused by Cryptosporidium, a parasite found that can cause diarrhea.

The study was conducted on behalf of the Water Quality and Health Council and adults admitted to the startling behavior.

For example, the researchers said Arizona health officials used the system past year to confirm a specific type of Cryptosporidium that spread to multiple swimming pools around Phoenix.

Rinse off in the shower before getting in the water to help remove any germs on your body that could contaminate the pool.

Infections occur when swimmers ingest water contaminated by diarrhea from a person infected by Cryptosporidium or Crypto, a parasite that is notoriously hard to kill.

The CDC is now reporting that in the previous year, there were 32 Crypto outbreaks linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds. Recurrent infections are extraordinarily debilitating and life-threatening.

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OH was one of the most heavily-infected states, according to the CDC, with 1,940 people falling ill due to the infection in 2016 compared to less than 600 in any previous year. OH identified 1,940 people sick with Crypto in 2016, compared with no more than 571 cases for any one year in 2012-2015. It's unclear whether the number of outbreaks has increased or whether better surveillance and laboratory methods are leading to better outbreak detection. It can survive up to 10 days in properly chlorinated water, and it takes just a swig to get sick.

Just a mouthful of water can cause up to three weeks of diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps or vomiting. When an outbreak is detected, operators have to close their pools and treat them with levels of chlorine that would not be safe for swimmers.

At least 17 percent of the people who were sick admitted they had swum while they still had diarrhea symptoms, the CDC team said.

Crypto is the most common cause of diarrheal illness and outbreaks linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds.

And to keep from getting sick, the CDC advises swimmers not to swallow pool water.

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