CDC warns risky 'crypto' parasite is on the rise

Henrietta Brewer
July 2, 2019

Cryptosporidium - which causes cryptosporidiosis - can lead to "profuse, watery diarrhea" among healthy adults suffering for as long as three weeks.

This is why Crypto is the leading cause of US outbreaks linked to swimming. 15% were linked to contact with cattle; 13% were linked to contact with infected people in childcare settings; 3% were linked to drinking raw milk or apple cider.

Summer's scorching temperatures may have many people looking to cool down in a swimming pool. Other swimmers swallowing mouthfuls of the contaminated water are likely to get infected with these bacteria, parasites and viruses, the CDC warns.

The CDC released a report on Friday warning that Cryptosporidium has risen by nearly 13% per year from 2009 to 2017.

- As summer peaks, the CDC is reminding swimmers that filtration and chlorine disinfection can only do so much to combat germs in swimming pools, but there are steps one can take to avoid getting sick.


However, "you can't always tell by looking at pool water if it is properly disinfected", according to Hvalsa.

From 2009 through 2017 there have been 444 Crypto outbreaks, resulting in 7,465 people becoming sick, 287 hospitalizations and one death, the CDC reports. Unfortunately, cryptosporidium has a high tolerance to chlorine and cansurvive in a chlorinated pool for up to 7 days.

To prevent cryptosporidiosis, the CDC recommends not swimming or going to daycare when experiencing diarrhea. Public health experts say that even trace amounts of infected fecal matter on hands or swimsuits can contaminate food, beverages or swimming pools - and others who ingest it can become infected, as well.

The CDC reports stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and nausea are just some of the symptoms.

"Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area-not poolside-to keep germs away from the pool".


The CDC officials report that the rise in number of cases could be also due to better and early detection of the organism among the patients.

Anyone suffering from diarrhea should avoid swimming until at least two weeks after their case subsides, the agency says.

Do not swallow the water.

- Wash hands with soap and water after coming in contact with animals or anything in animals' environment, especially animal feces.


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