CDC Warns of 'Crypto' Parasite on the Rise in Swimming Pools

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Most people who get crypto get it from the pool, but you can also get it from lakes and cattle. Here are four things you can do to protect yourself and others.

The parasite has a high tolerance for chlorine and can live in a pool for up to a week. The Giardia parasite will survive for about 45 minutes, and Cryptosporidium's 10.6-day lifespan translates to about 15,300 minutes. It causes cryptosporidiosis, which can leave healthy adults suffering from "profuse, watery diarrhea" for as long as three weeks.

Between 2009 and 2017 there were 444 cryptosporidiosis outbreaks reported in 40 states. Another 287 people were hospitalized between 2009 and 2017, the CDC says.

The cryptosporidium parasite is spread through the fecal matter of infected humans or animals, and people tend to get sick after swallowing contaminated water or food or coming in contact with those infected, according to the CDC. Health experts stated that recreational water, mostly kiddie pools and water playgrounds, were responsible for 156 cases. The effects can be worse for children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

Around 35% of the outbreaks were linked to treated swimming water in places like pools and water playgrounds.

The CDC says cases of cryptosporidium are growing across the country. "Reversing this trend will require dissemination of prevention messages to discourage swimming or attending child care while ill with diarrhea and encourage hand washing after contact with animals", stated CDC.

A report released on Friday said that there's a almost 13 percent increase every year between 2009-2017.

"We watch the reports from the news to find out what beaches are closed and what beaches may be having problems", said Kearsley resident Wayne Smith". If your child is sick, especially with diarrhea, keep them out of the pool as that is how it spreads. The CDC suggests a free chlorine concentration of at least 1 ppm in pools and water playgrounds and Bromine concentration of at least 3 ppm in pools and water playgrounds along with a pH of 7.2-7.8.

Gentry says taking water testing strips to the pool to make sure it's clean is always an option, but if those aren't handy there are other ways to test the water.

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