CDC warns of fecal parasite in swimming pools

The CDC is warning the public about a fecal parasite that's turning up more and more in pools. 

In a report released on Friday, the CDC said Cryptosporidium, more commonly referred to as Crypto, has increased an average 13% each year from 2009-2017 in the United States. 

The fecal parasite is spread through the fecal matter of infected humans or animals. According to the CDC, people can get people sick after they swallow the parasite in contaminated water or food as well as after contact with infected people or animals.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea. Symptoms usually begin 2-10 days after being exposed to the parasite. Diarrhea could last up to three weeks. 

Crypto can survive for days in chlorinated water in pools and in water at playgrounds or on surfaces disinfected with chlorine bleach. 

“Young children can get seriously sick and easily spread Crypto. They don’t know how to use the toilet and wash their hands, or are just learning how. But we as parents can take steps to help keep our kids healthy in the water, around animals, and in childcare," Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., chief of CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, said. 

For more information on Crypto and how to protect yourself, please click here.