Diarrhea outbreaks linked to swimming pools on the rise in US

Horrifying as it sounds, pee isn't the worst thing you could find in your neighborhood pool - there's also a microscopic parasite called Cryptosporidium spread through poop that can cause you weeks of diarrhea.

Outbreaks of a parasitic infection tied to swimming pools and water parks are on the rise, with twice as many outbreaks in 2016 as in 2014, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Outbreaks caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium, which is often seen in swimming pools, have more than doubled from 2014 to 2106, CDC researchers reported. It is not easily killed by chlorine and its ability to survive up to 10 days in properly treated water makes the outbreaks connected to swimming pools or water playgrounds. In 2016, there were 32.

Arizona last year reported that 352 people became sick with Cryptosporidiosis from July through October, compared with no more than 62 cases per year from 2011 to 2015.

Have a ball at the swimming pool, but don't swallow the water, just swim in it.

Take children on bathroom breaks regularly, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the swimming pool. Here are CDC's tips to prevent crypto from spreading around.

OH reported 1,940 infections in 2016, compared with no more than 571 in any one year from 2012 to 2015.

While the CDC is not tracking any cases here in Georgia, they say this warning is for everybody using public pools.

Health officials have long-warned against swimmers to avoid drinking the water but even still, 60 percent of adults still do so. "They'll let their kids go swimming after a bout of diarrhea", she said.

Once a pool or water playground is infected with crypto, it's easy to spread, but not easy to get rid of.

In 2015, there were 188 cases of Crypto voluntarily reported in IN, but it is not known if those cases came from public pools or water parks.

Workers need to read the label on pool chemicals, follow the directions and wear proper safety equipment, Hlavsa said.

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.

Pools: Proper chlorine (1-3 mg/L or parts per million [ppm]) and pH (7.2-7.8) levels maximize germ-killing power.

  • Delores Daniels