In a follow-up on the “crypto” situation in Lubbock, TX, the City of Lubbock Health Department reports more than 40 cases in the last 30 days compared to 25 cases reported in all of 2016.
Cryptosporidiosis is caused by the cryptosporidium parasite, and there are an estimated 750,000 cases in the United States every year. Crypto can be spread by swallowing or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water play areas, and natural bodies of water such as lakes. Crypto can cause diarrhea lasting up to two weeks.
Contrary to popular belief, standard pool chlorination does not kill all germs instantly, and crypto is especially tolerant to chlorine. Once crypto gets in the water, the pool must be super chlorinated per Center for Disease Control guidelines before it can be reopened for swimming. Swallowing just a little water that contains these germs can make you sick.
In the past two decades, there has been a substantial increase in the number of outbreaks associated with swimming. Crypto, which can stay alive for days even in well-maintained pools, has become the leading cause of swimming pool-related outbreaks of diarrheal illness.
Protect yourself, your family and your friends from germs in the water. Follow these 4 easy steps to help keep germs out of the water:
• Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea. If diarrhea is caused by Crypto, wait at least two weeks, after the diarrhea has stopped, to go swimming.
• Shower before getting in the water. This helps to remove germs on your body that could contaminate the water.
• Don’t pee or poo in the water. Take kids on bathroom breaks often, and check diapers in a diaper-changing area and not right next to the pool.
• Don’t swallow the water.
- Diphyllobothrium: The largest known tapeworms that can infect people
- Parasites 101: Swimmer’s itch
- Parasites 101: Cyclospora
- Parasites 101: Ascaris lumbricoides
- Cryptosporidium: Outbreaks linked to swimming pools double since 2014