Parasite could be lurking in swimming pools, CDC says


You might want to take extra precautions before jumping into a swimming pool this summer.

The CDC received reports of nearly 32 outbreaks of the infection associated with swimming pools or water playgrounds in the USA in the year 2016, in comparison to the reports of outbreak reported two years earlier, which stood at 16 cases.

People also can contaminate pool water with crypto through physical contact, said Lilly Kan, senior director of infectious disease and informatics with the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). The number of swimming pools with an outbreak of the parasite has doubled in just two years, according to the Center for Disease Control. That means an average of 8,000 people a year suffer through up to three weeks of watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and sometimes vomiting - most often because they swallowed contaminated pool water. However, there were 32 cases recorded in 2016. Arizona reported 352 lab-confirmed cases between July and October 2016, compared with a maximum 62 cases detected annually in years prior.

These results are concerning to experts from the CDC, the Water Quality and Health Council, and the National Swimming Pool Foundation due to the concerns over Crypto. If they wear a diaper, check it in a diaper-changing area and not near the pool.

CDC has found the reason behind the massive outbreak in numbers of infections.

Randy Sellers at SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte said a full-time pool technician checks pool chemicals daily, but when it comes to crypto, he said communication from parents is key.

Even if a pool is properly maintained, Crypto can still pose a challenge, as it's able to survive up to 10 days in clean water.

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While the CDC is not tracking any cases here in Georgia, they say this warning is for everybody using public pools.

"If you let it go, and grab your kid and go out of the water you're putting everyone at risk".

Crypto outbreaks are increasingly being reported to the CDC with twice as many outbreaks in 2016 as in 2014.

"This is a really tough bug to kill once it gets in the water", Hlavsa said. That bacteria can usually be wiped out with normal levels of chlorine, but Crypto is much more hard to kill. The biggest part if not letting your kid swim if they have recently been sick.

But do not be too quick to blame pool operators, Hlavsa said.

While the CDC recommends everyone shower to decrease the amount of organic matter someone might transfer into pool water, Schwab adds that people should also pay special attention to their hands.