Infections from Contaminated Pool Water Rise
With Memorial Day—and the unofficial start of summer—a little more than a week away, many people throughout the United States are thinking about vacation. If your plans include relaxing in a swimming pool or frolicking in a water park, use care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outbreaks of diarrhea caused by a parasitic infection have doubled in the U.S. since 2014.
In 2016, at least 32 outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium (“Crypto”) were associated with contaminated water in pools and water parks. Crypto is not easily killed by chlorine and can survive up to 10 days—even in water that has been properly treated. The parasite spreads from person to person through contact with water contaminated with infected fecal matter.
A mere mouthful of contaminated water can make an otherwise healthy person sick—with diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and stomach cramps—for up to three weeks. To reduce the risk of infection, do not swim—or allow your child to swim—with diarrhea, avoid swallowing pool water, shower before swimming, and change young children’s swim diapers frequently.