Outbreaks of a parasitic infection linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds have doubled in the past couple years, according to a new report.
The Centers for Disease Control said there were 32 outbreaks of Crypto in 2016, compared to 16 in 2014. The parasite spreads when a person swallows something that has come into contact with the feces of an infected person, such as pool water contaminated by diarrhea.
Crypto is the most common cause of swimming pool linked diarrhea outbreaks, largely because it can't be killed by chlorine and can survive up to 10 days in treated water.
The parasite can cause people to suffer diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and nausea for up to three weeks.
“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,” said Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., the chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “Protect yourself from getting sick by not swallowing the water in which you swim.”
The CDC said kids with diarrhea should avoid the pool.They also recommend avoiding swallowing pool water, rinsing off in the shower before swimming, and taking frequent bathroom breaks at the pool. Diapers should be changed in a separate area, not next to the pool.