Don’t Drink The Water: CDC Says Diarrhea Inducing Parasite On The Rise In U.S. Pools

Marissa Payne, The Washington Post

Published 11:32 am, Friday, May 19, 2017
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Before you cancel your child's swim lessons, however, the CDC said it's not sure what accounts for the rise in recorded outbreaks.

Before you cancel your child's swim lessons, however, the CDC said it's not sure what accounts for the rise in recorded outbreaks.

Photo: Rondeau Laetitia / EyeEm Image 2 of 14 According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, public health has helped extend the life span of Americans by 25 years this century. The CDC has taken a look back in the nation's history to highlight the best things that have happened to Americans and their overall health. less According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, public health has helped extend the life span of Americans by 25 years this century. The CDC has taken a look back in the nation's ... more Photo: David Goldman, Associated Press Image 3 of 14 Immunizations - Vaccines have been developed or licensed against over 20 diseases. The CDC reports the death rates for diseases like smallpox and polio have dropped 100 percent since the beginning of the 1900s. Immunizations - Vaccines have been developed or licensed against over 20 diseases. The CDC reports the death rates for diseases like smallpox and polio have dropped 100 percent since the beginning of the 1900s. Photo: Rogelio V. Solis, Associated Press Image 4 of 14 Motor-vehicle safety - Policies like requiring drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and increased action against drunken driving have all contributed to a reduction in the deaths related to motor-vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. less Motor-vehicle safety - Policies like requiring drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and increased action against drunken driving have all contributed to a reduction in the deaths related to motor-vehicle ... more Photo: Rex C. Curry, Special To The Chronicle Image 5 of 14 Workplace safety - The CDC reports there have been large declines in fatal work-related incidents. Overall, the declining death rate is attributed to the efforts made by unions and government agencies, like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). less Workplace safety - The CDC reports there have been large declines in fatal work-related incidents. Overall, the declining death rate is attributed to the efforts made by unions and government agencies, like the ... more Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images Image 6 of 14 Control of infectious diseases - In 1900, children under the age of 5 suffered made up 30 percent of all deaths that year. That number has now drastically declined thanks to sanitation, hygiene and vaccination to name a few, according the CDC. less Control of infectious diseases - In 1900, children under the age of 5 suffered made up 30 percent of all deaths that year. That number has now drastically declined thanks to sanitation, hygiene and vaccination ... more Photo: Jennifer Reynolds, Associated Press Image 7 of 14 Decline in deaths from heart disease and stroke - While heart disease is the leading cause of death for many Americans, the casualty rate has fallen since 1921, according to the CDC. Advances in prevention and the overall health of Americans has contributed to the lower death rates. less Decline in deaths from heart disease and stroke - While heart disease is the leading cause of death for many Americans, the casualty rate has fallen since 1921, according to the CDC. Advances in prevention and ... more Photo: Mike Munden, Associated Press Image 8 of 14 Safer and healthier foods - Food safety has improved since the early 1900s, mainly because of the development of nutritional sciences, according to the CDC. Safer and healthier foods - Food safety has improved since the early 1900s, mainly because of the development of nutritional sciences, according to the CDC. Photo: Matthew Mead, Associated Press Image 9 of 14 Healthier mothers and babies - For every 1,000 births, six to nine women and 100 infants before the age of 1 died of pregnancy-related complications. The decline in death rates is attributed to advances in clinical medicine, including the discovery of penicillin in the 1940s. less Healthier mothers and babies - For every 1,000 births, six to nine women and 100 infants before the age of 1 died of pregnancy-related complications. The decline in death rates is attributed to advances in ... more Photo: Brett Coomer, Associated Press Image 10 of 14 Family planning - Thanks to modern contraception and education, family sizes are smaller but are much healthier. In addition, the social and economic role of women has improved, the CDC reports. Family planning - Thanks to modern contraception and education, family sizes are smaller but are much healthier. In addition, the social and economic role of women has improved, the CDC reports. Photo: Michael Paulsen, Houston Chronicle Image 11 of 14 Fluoridation of drinking water - Adding small amounts of fluoride to drinking water has contributed to a remarkable decline in tooth decay among Americans. The CDC reports water fluoridation remains the cheapest and most equal way of getting fluoride to all communities. less Fluoridation of drinking water - Adding small amounts of fluoride to drinking water has contributed to a remarkable decline in tooth decay among Americans. The CDC reports water fluoridation remains the ... more Photo: JIMI LOTT, KRT Image 12 of 14 Tobacco as a health hazard - The CDC reports smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the U.S. Thanks to government policies, like increased tax rates, and changing social norms, the smoking rate has since declined. less Tobacco as a health hazard - The CDC reports smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disability in the U.S. Thanks to government policies, like increased tax rates, and changing social norms, the ... more Photo: Thomas B. Shea, For The Chronicle Image 13 of 14 Future directions of public health - Changes in the overall public health system have contributed to greater health among Americans, including surveys, better training and improved analytics, the CDC reports. Future directions of public health - Changes in the overall public health system have contributed to greater health among Americans, including surveys, better training and improved analytics, the CDC reports. Photo: David Mercer, Associated Press Image 14 of 14 CDC says diarrhea-inducing parasite on the rise in US pools 1 / 14 Back to Gallery

If you're planning to take a dip in a pool this summer, make sure to plug your nose and close your mouth. Any inadvertent ingestion of even chlorinated pool water could wind up giving you cryptosporidium. 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.

This isn't a new parasite, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of recorded crypto outbreaks has doubled at U.S. pools and water playgrounds in two years. In 2014, there were 16 outbreaks, according to data published by the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Thursday. In 2016, there were 32.

Ohio was one of the most heavily-infected states, according to the CDC, with 1,940 people falling ill due to the infection in 2016 compared to less than 600 in any previous year.

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Before you cancel your child's swim lessons, however, the CDC said it's not sure what accounts for the rise in recorded outbreaks.

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"It is not clear whether the number of outbreaks has increased or whether better surveillance and laboratory methods are leading to better outbreak detection," it said in a press statement.

Once a pool or water playground is infected with crypto, it's easy to spread, but not easy to get rid of. It can survive up to 10 days in properly chlorinated water, and it takes just a swig to get sick. The only way to ensure the health of the water once its been infected is to close the pool and treat it with extremely high levels of chlorine that are dangerous for humans to swim in.

Meanwhile, the only way to ensure your own health is to take precautions when swimming in pools or playing at water parks. The CDC recommends avoiding swallowing any water and rinsing off in the shower once you get out.

Public health experts also say people can help contain the germs by avoiding the pool while sick and waiting two weeks after symptoms subside from a suspected case of crypto before going swimming.

The rise in crypto cases shouldn't necessarily deter recreational swimmers, however.

"I will continue to swim in pools," Prof. Kellogg Schwab, the director of the Johns Hopkins University Water Institute, said Friday. He underlined, however, he will also be following a few "common sense" guidelines to make sure the pools he swims in remain healthy environments.

While the CDC recommends everyone shower to decrease the amount of organic matter someone might transfer into pool water, Schwab adds that people should also pay special attention to their hands.

Source : http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/CDC-says-diarrhea-inducing-parasite-on-the-rise-11158819.php

CDC says diarrhea-inducing parasite on the rise in US pools
CDC says diarrhea-inducing parasite on the rise in U.S. pools
Diarrhea-inducing parasite on the rise in US pools, CDC warns
CDC: Diarrhea-inducing parasite on the rise in U.S. pools