“Crypto” Parasite On The Rise In Public Swimming Pools


crypto-charlotte-public-swimming-poolsWith public swimming pools across the Charlotte region hitting mid-season, health experts are now warning of a growing parasitic infection called ‘Crypto’.

According to the CDC, “for the period 2009–2017, public health officials from 40 states and Puerto Rico voluntarily reported 444 cryptosporidiosis outbreaks resulting in 7,465 cases. Exposure to treated recreational water (e.g., in pools and water playgrounds) was associated with 156 (35.1%) outbreaks resulting in 4,232 (56.7%) cases.”

Crypto is a highly-contagious parasite that regular chlorine doesn’t kill. It can survive up to 10 days in properly treated water. The highly infectious parasite can make otherwise healthy people sick for up to 3 weeks with severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.

“To help protect your family and friends from Crypto and other diarrhea-causing germs, do not swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea,” said Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program. “Protect yourself from getting sick by not swallowing the water in which you swim.”

The CDC recommends the following tips before you go swimming this summer:

  • Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
  • Never swallow pool water.
  • Rinse off in the shower before getting in the water to help remove any germs on your body that could contaminate the water.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks often, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the pool.

If your kids experience any diarrhea, stomach cramps, or dehydration after swimming, CFU probiotics have been found to help cleanse the digestive tract.

For more information and other healthy and safe swimming steps, visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming.