CDC warns about fecal parasite living in pools

CDC Warns About Fecal Parasite That Thrives In Pools

The temperatures are hot and the schedules are empty. That means pool time. But there could be something lurking in the water -- a threat that you cannot see but could make you or your family sick.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are saying that there are more cases of cryptosporidium, a fecal parasite, that thrive in swimming pools.

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"The number of treated recreational water-associated outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium drives the summer seasonal peak in both waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks overall," the CDC told CNN in a statement.

From 2009 to 2017, there were 444 cryptosporidiosis outbreaks, and during that same time, there were 7,465 cases in 40 states and Puerto Rico due to the outbreaks, the CDC reported.

Officials said the number of outbreaks has increased by 13% each year.

Cryptosporidium, or crypto, can be introduced into a person's system when swimming and swallowing contaminated water, CNN reported.

Crypto can survive in a pool that has the correct level of chlorine for seven days, the CDC said.

What steps can someone take to make sure they don't pass crypto to unsuspecting swimmers?

Avoid swimming for two weeks after having diarrhea and it subsides. But that probably won't happen as experts at the Water Quality & Health Council found that a quarter of people recently surveyed will only wait an hour, not weeks before jumping into a pool, CNN reported.

If you have been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, the condition caused by the parasite, clean surfaces with hydrogen peroxide since chlorine bleach has little to no effect on crypto, CNN reported.

For more on cryptosporidiosis, including signs and symptoms, click here.