Strong Germ Could Contaminate Your Entire Pool, CDC Warns

July 2, 2019

Now that summer is well underway, the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention is urging anyone who has diarrhea to stay away from pools. 

Crypto, a parasite spread through human or animal fecal matter, is the leading cause of disease outbreaks in the U.S. connected to water, the CDC said. Anyone can get sick after sharing space with infected people or animals or swallowing the parasite in water or food that is contaminated.

In a report documenting 444 outbreaks from 2009 through 2017, more than 7,400 people got sick, and 287 were hospitalized. Thirty-five percent of those outbreaks were connected to swimming water. 

Even though pools feature chlorine, crypto is difficult to kill because an outer shell protects it. 

“Young children can get seriously sick and easily spread Crypto,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, in a statement. “They don’t know how to use the toilet and wash their hands, or are just learning how. But we as parents can take steps to help keep our kids healthy in the water, around animals, and in childcare.”

Here are some tips to protect you this summer:

  • Don’t swim if you have diarrhea
  • Don’t swallow the water you swim in
  • Wash your hands after coming in contact with animals 

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