A parasitic infection called Crypto is on the rise in US swimming pools – Business Insider

McCarren Park Pool public pool brooklynMario
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Be careful when you go for a swim in the neighborhood pool this

The parasitic infection cryptosporidium — known as crypto — is on
the rise in the US,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The parasite is the most common cause of diarrhea linked to
swimming pools and water parks, and it spreads when people
swallow something that has come into contact with the feces of a
sick person, such as pool water.

CDC says the infection can make
“healthy people sick for up
to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or
vomiting, and can lead to dehydration.”

In 2016, there were at least 32 outbreaks in the country, double
the number in 2014. In 2016, Ohio identified 1,940 people with
crypto after observing as many as 571 cases annually between 2012
and 2015.

The crypto parasite is hard to kill — it can survive the standard
levels of chlorine and other pool disinfectants that kill most
other germs within a few minutes. To get rid of crypto, the CDC
closing pools after contamination
for an hourslong period of

Keeping crypto out of a pool also means relying on people to be
responsible about showering before getting in and staying away
from the water if they’ve recently had diarrhea. But that doesn’t
always happen — a recent survey
by the Water Quality and Health Council
found that 25% of
adults said they’d swim within an hour of having diarrhea, and
just over half said they didn’t shower before getting in a pool.

crypto thumbs
The cryptosporidium


In 2010, the CDC launched a DNA-fingerprinting tracking system
for identifying crypto outbreaks.

To avoid getting sick, the CDC recommends not swallowing any
water while you swim — easier said than done, of course, but it
takes just a mouthful of contaminated water to make you sick.

Experts also urge people to rinse off before diving in and to
have frequent bathroom breaks for kids. They also suggest
changing diapers for young ones in a separate area away from the

And if you’ve been sick with crypto? Stay out of the water,