Fort Worth, Texas,
31
May
2017

Health Warning: Diarrhea Caused By Parasites in Swimming Pools, Water Playgrounds Doubled Since 2014

CDC reports Crypto outbreaks, provides tips for healthy swimming

School’s out, the summer’s here and it’s time for the kids to hit the pool … and then later a pediatrician’s office if you aren’t careful.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says outbreaks of a parasitic infection linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds are increasingly being reported to them, with twice as many outbreaks in 2016 as in 2014.

At least 32 outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”) linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds in the United States were reported in 2016, compared with 16 outbreaks in 2014, according to preliminary data published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

At Cook Children's, our lab received four requests from pediatricians to test for crypto, but all cases were negative.

Crypto is a germ that causes diarrhea. The germ is found in fecal matter of a person who has been infected by Crypto.

Even in chlorinated water, the tough outer shell of Crypto allows it to survive for a long time. It can last for days even in properly chlorinated pools.

Crypto can be painful with prolonged diarrhea lasting as long as 1 to 2 weeks. Young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to become ill.

Crypto can be spread by swallowing contaminated water from pools, water parks, interactive fountains, water play areas, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, streams and oceans.

Swallowing even a small amount of pool water that has been contaminated by the Crypto germ can make your child sick. If one person infected with Crypto has diarrhea in the water, the water can be contaminated with hundreds of millions of germs.

The CDC offers these tips for healthy swimming:

Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water!

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Shower before you get in the water.
  • Don’t pee or poop in the water.
  • Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

  • Take kids on bathroom breaks.
  • Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the pool.
  • Reapply sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

“Cryptosporidiosis is an unpleasant illness that can be avoided by simply following the CDC tips above.”

School’s out, the summer’s here and it’s time for the kids to hit the pool … and then later a pediatrician’s office if you aren’t careful.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says outbreaks of a parasitic infection linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds are increasingly being reported to them, with twice as many outbreaks in 2016 as in 2014.

At least 32 outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium (also known as “Crypto”) linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds in the United States were reported in 2016, compared with 16 outbreaks in 2014, according to preliminary data published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Crypto is a germ that causes diarrhea. The germ is found in fecal matter of a person who has been infected by Crypto.

Even in chlorinated water, the tough outer shell of Crypto allows it to survive for a long time. It can last for days even in properly chlorinated pools.

Crypto can be painful with prolonged diarrhea lasting as long as 1 to 2 weeks. Young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to become ill.

Crypto can be spread by swallowing contaminated water from pools, water parks, interactive fountains, water play areas, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, streams and oceans.

Swallowing even a small amount of pool water that has been contaminated by the Crypto germ can make your child sick. If one person infected with Crypto has diarrhea in the water, the water can be contaminated with (maybe delete the “tens of”) hundreds of millions of germs.

The CDC offers these tips for healthy swimming:

Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water!

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Shower before you get in the water.
  • Don’t pee or poop in the water.
  • Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

  • Take kids on bathroom breaks.
  • Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the pool.
  • Reapply sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

Learn more:

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Jeff Calaway
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