Number of swimming pools infected with poop parasite is growing

Number of swimming pools infected with poop parasite is growing

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The parasite is called cryptosporidium – crypto for short. It can give you very bad diarrhea for as long as three weeks. Other symptoms can include vomiting, fever, stomach cramps, dehydration, and weight loss. Children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to becoming seriously ill from crypto.

More than 7,400 people were sickened by crypto between 2009 and 2017, and that's only counting those affected in 40 states and Puerto Rico, according to the CDC. That figure is probably underestimated, as it's likely some cases are not reported.

Worryingly, the parasite appears to be infecting people with increasing frequency. The number of crypto cases has increased by about 13 percent each year since 2009, the CDC reports. July and August are peak months for contracting the illness, most likely because so many people are using swimming pools. It's also possible that part of the increase is due to the fact that testing for the parasite is improving.

More than a third of those sickened got the illness from swimming pools, kiddie pools, or water playgrounds. Others contracted it through exposure to infected animals – especially cows – in child-care settings, or by consuming contaminated water, other beverages (such as unpasteurized milk or apple cider), or food.

Only one person has died from the parasitic infection since 2009, but almost 300 people have been sent to hospitals, the CDC reported. Crypto can get into swimming pools if someone with the illness enters the water. Once in a swimming pool, the parasite can survive for more than a week.

To help stop crypto from spreading, the CDC recommends:

  • If your child or anyone in your family has diarrhea, they shouldn't swim until at least two weeks after it stops.
  • Wash your hands after touching livestock. Also, consider removing your shoes and outer clothing before going inside your home.
  • Keep children out of daycare if they have diarrhea.

Learn more about how to deal with diarrhea during pregnancy, diarrhea in babies, and diarrhea in toddlers.

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Watch the video: Poop in pool report: 80 percent of American pools in violation, CDC says - TomoNews (August 2022).

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