According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contaminated pool water is cause for concern. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that outbreaks of a parasitic diarrhea-causing infection linked to pools and water playgrounds doubled in the United States from 2014 to 2016.
The infection is known as Cryptosporidium. It’s a parasite that spreads through contact with the feces of an infection person. Last year, the CDC was notified of 32 outbreaks linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds in the U.S., up from just 16 outbreaks in 2014.
Most people can recover from the illness without treatment, but they will experience various symptoms over the course of several days. Symptoms of cryptosporidium include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. The infection can also cause dehydration. If diarrhea persists for longer than three days, patients should seek medical attention.
Home pools are less of a risk, but crypto can survive in properly treated water for up to 10 days. Community pools carry a higher risk of an outbreak, due to the amount of people who swim in them.
How To Avoid Cryptosporidium
Michelle Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program said, “Parents can encourage their children not to swallow the water when swimming.” She added that a person who swallows even a single mouthful of contaminated water can contract the infection. Hlavsa cautioned parents not to buy pool toys that might encourage swallowing water.
She added,”Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the pool. We all share the water we swim in, but we don’t want to share germs, pee or poop.”
Pool Chemical Safety
According to the same report, spending time in a pool this summer may carry another concern. About 50 people were in an outdoor public pool in California when 34 of them began to vomit, cough or experience eye irritation. The CDC found that a chemical controller malfunction caused sodium hypochlorite to react with muriatic acid. The reaction caused toxic chlorine gas to be released.
The CDC urges pool owners to properly handle, store and monitor pool chemicals. More than 4,800 people visited emergency rooms in 2012 for health issues that were associated with pool chemicals. Symptoms of chlorine poisoning vary. They can include blurred vision, a burning sensation in the nose, throat and eyes, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting and watery eyes.
Watch the video below for more information on the increase of crypto outbreaks: