A friend who was once an avid runner now loves swimming. He’s into challenging himself while exercising and likes the way swimming has pushed him more than he expected.
It’s a solitary way to exercise, even in a public pool.
But here is a reason he should be aware the next time swims: the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said it has seen a spike in the number of cases of people who have been diagnosed with Crypto (official name: Cryptosporidium). The increase has been seen in pools and water playgrounds.
A report released Thursday found that there have been 32 Crypto outbreaks “linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds in the United States were reported in 2016, compared with 16 outbreaks in 2014.” Here’s the kicker from the CBC: “The parasite can spread when people swallow something that has come into contact with the feces (poop) of a sick person, such as pool water contaminated with diarrhea.”
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The CDC report says Crypto is not easily killed by chlorine and can survive up to 10 days, even in properly treated water. People who swallow just a mouthful of water that is contaminated with the parasite can make become sick for up to three weeks with “watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration.”
That will put a crimp in anyone’s exercise plans.
The states will be largest number people who were sickened last year were Ohio (1,940) and Arizona (352), according to the news release. The CDC said it did not know if the number of outbreaks had increased or there has been better detection.
In 2015, there were 50 confirmed or suspected cases of Crypto in the Kansas City area.
The CDC offered this tips, which seem pretty basic:
▪ Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea (wait two weeks if you have Crypto).
▪ Don’t swallow water when you swim.
▪ Rinse off in the shower before getting in the water.