Crypto and Giardia are invisible threats that can make an infected person very sick. The most common symptom of parasitic infection is diarrhea, which can last two to three weeks if left untreated. With treatment, the symptoms may lessen and disappear within three days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 750,000 cases of Crypto and 1.2 million cases of Giardia are estimated annually in the U.S.
“Crypto and Giardia are more common than you think. The risk of contracting these parasitic infections increase during the summer months when people around the country return to swimming in community pools,” said Jean-François Rossignol, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.S.C., Chief Science Officer at Romark Laboratories. “It’s important that swimmers take precautions in the pool and seek proper treatment from a doctor if they suspect that they are infected with Crypto or Giardia.”
Contrary to popular belief, swimming in properly chlorinated pools does not necessarily eliminate the risk of parasitic infections. An infected person can spread the parasite at alarming rates by swimming in community pools. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing water that contains Crypto.
Steven J. Czinn, M.D., Professor and Chair of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, believes that proper education about parasitic infections is critical. “What’s concerning is that parents may not be aware of the severity of Crypto and Giardia parasitic infections,” said Dr. Czinn. “If you suspect that you or your child has swallowed pool water in any amount and has become sick, contact your doctor immediately.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests all swimmers take these precautionary steps to stay healthy while swimming this summer.
- Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea
- Don’t swallow the water
- Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
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