CDC: Illness Outbreaks Caused By Parasites In Pools On The Rise

ATLANTA- There have been a significant increase in the number of recreational water illness outbreaks associated with swimming over the past two decades, the Centers for Disease Control said in a new report.

A common culprit is Cryptosporidium, or Crypto. It’s a microscopic parasite that causes diarrhea. According to the CDC, Crypto can live for days in well-maintained pools or hot tubs because it’s tolerant to chlorine.

“This parasite is extremely chlorine-resistant,” Michele Hlavsa, lead author of the CDC report, told CBS News. “Swimmers bring it into the water when they are sick with diarrhea.”

Between 2004 and 2008, the number of cases of Crypto increased for more than 200 percent. It’s also affecting a high number of young children.

In order to avoid contracting the parasite, the CDC said people should shower before swimming, and they should not drink the water or swim when they have diarrhea. Another age-old tip: Don’t urinate or defecate in the pool.

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