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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Outbreaks of a Parasitic Infection Tied to Swimming Pools and Water Parks Are On the Rise

Authorities are warning of an increase in outbreaks of a parasitic infection tied to swimming pools and water parks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports of at least 32 outbreaks Cryptosporidium in the U.S. in 2016. This is double the reports received by the agency in 2014. 

Also known as "Crypto," the parasite spreads when people swallow water that has come into contact with feces from an infected person. Crypto, which can survive up to 10 days, is not easily killed by chlorine the CDC notes, adding that it is the most common cause of diarrheal illness and outbreaks linked to swimming pools or water parks.
It doesn't take much to induce illness that can last up to three weeks. Just one mouthful of contaminated water is all it takes to contract the parasite.
Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to 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," Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming Program, said in a statement. "Protect yourself from getting sick by not swallowing the water in which you swim."
The CDC urges pools and water parks to close if cases of diarrhea are detected for more aggressive treatment of the water.
(MORE: CDC: High Levels of Brain-Eating Amoeba Found at North Carolina Water Park Where Teen Who Died Contracted Disease)
The CDC also recommends the following tips to prevent contraction of Cyto:
• Don't swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
• If diarrhea is caused by Crypto, wait two weeks after symptoms have stopped before going swimming.
• Don't swallow the water while swimming.
• Rinse off in the shower before getting in the water to help remove any germs on your body that could contaminate the pool.
• Take kids on bathroom breaks often, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area, and not right next to the pool.
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