CDC crypto parasite—Beware before taking a dip in that public pool. A disease called crypto parasite in on the rise in US swimming pools. A parasitic infection, crypto causes diarrhea and is often transmitted by exposure to excrement.
The rate of people getting sick with Cryptosporidium, a parasite, has soared 13 percent since 2009, with more than seven thousand cases registered in the last decade, warns a new report from the CDC.
A third of the cases occur in swimming pools, and the great majority between the months of June, July and August.
In an attempt to reduce the problem, US health officials urge swimmers to stop swimming in public pools when they have diarrhea.
The warning comes after a report revealed that eight Americans have died and 30,000 have gotten sick with bacteria in hotel pools between 2000 and 2014.
Cryptosporidium, which may come from another person’s stool, can survive normal levels of chlorine, which is why people with diseases are urged to refrain from swimming. “Swallowing just one sip of water with Crypto can make healthy children and adults sick for weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting,” said Michele Hlavsa, head of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program.
“Chlorine can not kill Crypto quickly, we need to keep it out of the water in the first place, do not go into the water, and do not allow your children to go to the water if they are sick with diarrhea.”
Legionella and Pseudomonas bacteria are the main causes of these outbreaks, with 16 percent of outbreaks caused by Legionella and 13 percent caused by Pseudomonas.
Legionella can cause severe pneumonia and flu-like symptoms. Pseudomonas can cause rashes in the whirlpool and swimmer’s ears
If the pool, jacuzzi or water play area is not cleaned properly, bacteria can grow and form a slime called biofilm on wet surfaces. Legionella and Pseudomonas can live in this biofilm. It is more difficult for disinfectants to kill these bacteria when they are protected by biofilm.
The CDC warns that pool operators must maintain proper cleaning practices and levels of disinfectant to prevent bacteria from growing and causing illness to swimmers.