With pool season nearly here, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a warning about a rising number of cryptosporidium outbreaks in swimming pools. From 2014 to 2016, the nation saw cases of the parasitic infection more commonly known as crypto double.
The infection causes "watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration," according to the CDC. It's contracted when you swallow water that has come into contact with the poop of a sick person, as you might accidentally do in a swimming pool. Yup.
The U.S. saw 32 outbreak in 2016, according to findings published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It doesn't sound like that many outbreaks, but one outbreak can cause hundreds of illnesses. Ohio identified 1,940 people who contracted crypto in 2016. The state hadn't found more than 571 cases in any year from 2012 to 2015.
It takes just a mouthful of water to make an otherwise healthy person ill. The Center's main recommendation is not swallowing pool water, but you probably already knew you shouldn't be doing that. “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,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, in a statement. “Protect yourself from getting sick by not swallowing the water in which you swim.”