It's pool season, the grandest of all seasons, or so you might think. Sure, days are longer, clothing is skimpier, and the beer is colder, but with pool season comes high risk, especially if there's poop in the water. Which, it turns out, there is. A lot of it.
According to the CDC, every year thousands of water-associated outbreaks get reported, all stemming from poop-related bacteria. And poop in the pool can cause several diseases, all of which you can very realistically catch. The good news: despite what that ignorant guy at your office says, herpes and HIV are two diseases you CANNOT catch in a pool.
The No. 1 pool-borne disease in the US is… number two. Diarrhea is the most common recreational water illness (RWI), and is most commonly caused by cryptosporidium parasites. "We know that cryptosporidium is the bug responsible for most of the recent recreational water-associated outbreaks," says Brittany Behm, spokeswoman of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases for the CDC. "Half of the outbreaks reported for 2011-2012 were caused by crypto." Crypto can stay alive for days even in well-maintained pools. When these parasites enter your body, they travel to your small intestine and then burrow into the walls. The result? An unpleasant bathroom situation for as long as two to three weeks. Summer is only 13 weeks long. You don't want this.