Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Swimming Pools Can Make You Sick

Swimming Pools Can Make You Sick

In comparison, 20 Crypto outbreaks linked to swimming were reported in 2011, 16 in 2012, and 13 in 2013.

Launched in 2010, CryptoNet is the first U.S. DNA fingerprinting-based tracking system for illness caused by a parasite that helps states in detecting the type of Crypto that infects people and for controlling outbreaks.

Hlavsa explained that crypto is resistant to chlorine, and can survive up to 10 days in even properly chlorinated pool water. That means an average of 8,000 people a year suffer through up to three weeks of watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and sometimes vomiting - most often because they swallowed contaminated pool water. Final numbers for 2016, along with 2015 numbers, will come in a later report, but "we expect them to go up", said Michele Hlavsa, head of CDC's healthy swimming program.

"Young swimmers aged under 5 years are more likely to contaminate the water because they are more likely to have inadequate toileting and hygiene skills; therefore, prevention efforts should focus on their parents", the CDC team wrote in their report.

Probing the results and combing with information on what patients were doing before they became sick will help CDC and its public health partners develop more effective strategies to stop spreading of Crypto.

"When somebody spits up or throws up, it's so acidic, so you don't need to evacuate the pool, but certainly, anything that comes out the other end is an issue", Conrad said.

A person can get ill from cryptosporidiosis after being exposed to contaminated swimming pool water, water in water parks, drinking water and food, as well as from contact with people or animals who have been infected. OH reported 1,940 infections in 2016, compared with no more than 571 in any one year from 2012 to 2015. Arizona alone identified 352 people sick with crypto between July and October 2016, compared with just 62 cases for any year between 2011 and 2015.

"Swim diapers do not contain diarrhea", she said. CDC recommends closing pools and treating the water with high levels of chlorine.

Shower before getting in the water. It also causes eye irritation.

But do not be too quick to blame pool operators, Hlavsa said.

In addition, Jennifer Li, senior director of environmental health for NACCHO, said that employees should clear the pool area before starting recirculation pumps, because introduction of concentrated pool chemicals can cause a sudden release of chlorine gas.

The Centers for Disease Control said Crypto illness outbreaks are on the rise.

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