Outbreaks of Cryptosporidium-thankfully also known as Crypto-in the USA increased an average of 13 percent each year from 2009 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may avoid contracting Crypto by practicing good hygiene and avoiding swallowing water from pools, recreational water parks, lakes and streams, according to the Mayo Clinic. It causes cryptosporidiosis, a profuse, watery diarrhea that can last up to three weeks. Most of the cases were found in the months of July and August.
"Young children can get seriously sick and easily spread Crypto", says Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC's Healthy Swimming Program. From 2009-2017, 35% of more than 400 Crypto outbreaks were linked to pools, while 15% were linked to cattle and 13% were linked to childcare facilities.
The CDC explains that Cryptosporidium, called "Crypto" for short, "is spread through the poop of infected humans or animals". The water becomes contaminated when an infected swimmer transmits the parasite through lingering residue on their person or a diarrheal incident-which, gross as it may be, can be hard to detect in a pool full of kids.
Brantingham says they have no way to know exactly where those who were diagnosed with the parasite came in contact with it, but there is no place that's an immediate danger to the public.
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The CDC also notes that, despite modern medicine, the spread of this parasite has increased by 13% every year between 2009 and 2017.
For the record, I'm not sharing this information to scare you right out of swimming in a pool ever again, but best practice should definitely be CLOSE YOUR MOUTH COMPLETELY while you do it. There were 444 outbreaks reported from 2009 through 2017, which resulted in almost 7,500 illnesses, 287 hospitalizations and one death.
Families not allow kids to swim if they have diarrhea. Patrons are required to shower before entering the pool, and posted signs prohibit swimming within two weeks of having diarrhea. The CDC says child care businesses should make sure all surfaces are cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, as chlorine bleach is an ineffective means of killing the parasite.