Headed to the pool or water park this summer? Watch out for Cryptosporidium. Also known as “crypto,” this parasite spreads when someone swallows water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Crypto is not easily killed by chlorine and can survive up to 10 days in treated water, making it the primary cause of waterborne disease in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that crypto outbreaks in swimming pools and water playgrounds doubled from 2014 to 2016 in the U.S., with 32 outbreaks in the last year alone.
To prevent future crypto outbreaks, CTEH’s medical team says it’s important to be aware of the dangers you may face at recreational water facilities in your community. In addition to practicing good hygiene habits such as regularly washing your hands, here are a few tips your family should follow this summer:
- Don’t swallow the swimming pool water.
- Rinse off in the shower with soap and water before getting in any recreational water facilities to remove any germs that could contaminate the water.
- Don’t swim or let your kids swim if suffering from diarrhea.
- If infected by crypto, wait at least two weeks after the diarrhea has stopped before going swimming.
- Take kids on bathroom breaks often, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area. Do not use public tables or chairs.
- If your facility is infected, close it immediately and treat the water with high levels of chlorine.
If you need guidance on how to prevent the spread of waterborne or other infectious illnesses, contact CTEH at cteh.com. For more information about crypto, visit cdc.gov.