Health Care

Pool Infections Linked to Parasitic Poop on the Rise (MMWR)

Pool Infections Linked to Parasitic Poop on the Rise (MMWR)

Outbreaks of an infection linked to swimming pools have doubled in just the past two years.

On May 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a sharp increase in reported infections from swimming pools in the United States. Here are CDC's tips to prevent crypto from spreading around. It spreads when people come in contact with the feces of an infected person. More simply known as "crypto", the microscopic parasite can make otherwise healthy adults and children feel incredibly sick with stomach cramps, nausea and bouts of diarrhea that can last up to three weeks. Such outbreaks highlighted the difficulties that treated recreational water venues have with crypto, and the CDC noted that the number of people who can become infected by a small number of germs is remarkable. "Swallowing 10 or fewer of these oocysts can make you sick".

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.

CDC releases a list of safety precautions for health hazards and the increasing crypto outbreaks are no exception.

It is possible the increase is linked to better reporting, but it is also possible the problem is becoming more common, Hlavsa said.

The findings were published May 19 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). OH identified 1,940 people sick with Crypto in 2016, compared with no more than 571 cases for any one year in 2012-2015. One outbreak sickened members of a university sports team after they visited a water park. 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. These included 36 players and family members associated with a Little League team who got sick after visiting a Maricopa County aquatic facility.

The CDC advises parents not to let children swim if they have diarrhea. Crypto causes watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting. "Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the pool", Hlavsa told CNN.

"Swim diapers do not contain diarrhea", she said.

Billups said his crew has been busy getting pools prepared for summer swimmers and visitors to the water park.

The CDC also said swimmers should try to avoid ingesting pool water.

Between 2008 and 2015, mishandled pool chemicals harmed about 190 people in California in nine separate incidents, the report noted.


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