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Harmful Parasites in Public Pools and Other Water Recreational Facilities Can Cause Diarrhea Outbreaks: How To Avoid Them

By Lester Mondragon | May 29, 2017 11:45 AM EDT

The scorching summer heat is back and people are itching to jump into that cooling sensation of swimming pools and water parks. Hold those horses, before taking that dip or diving into a big splash, an unseen harmful parasite is waddling away waiting for the individual to take that open mouth dive so they can swim into it which sooner or later will create that dreaded rear explosion.

Public health officials say that just a mouthful of swimming pool water is sufficient to bring a healthy individual to a three to four-week internal pandemonium. The pool water swallowed could be contaminated with the harmful parasite "cryptosporidium," causing flowing diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps, that eventually leads to dehydration, The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains.

The CDC further says that harmful parasites could come from the contaminated water from fecal matter. Such contaminants could be found in bathtubs, swimming pools, water parks, or splash tubs and could also be present in natural habitats of lakes, ponds, and rivers.

Crypto leads in the outbreak rankings linked to swimming pool contamination and playgrounds with water recreational facilities. The thing with this harmful parasite is its resistance to pool disinfectants. Heavy chlorination of a swimming facility soaked in a week with salt and other chemicals is survived by the crypto, as reported by CBC News Health.

The CDC has on record the harmful parasitic outbreaks had with 20 attacks in 2011, 16 incidents last 2012, and 13 assaults in the year 2013. The year 2014 experienced 16 outbreaks on record while 32 happened last year. All these outbreaks are linked to the harmful parasite Crypto.

According to Michele Hlavsa, Chief of the CDC Swimming Program, the harmful parasite Crypto spreads when a person comes in contact with a contaminated person's fecal matter. Ohio alone saw 2000 people infected with crypto back in 2015.

Cryptosporidium is extremely difficult to exterminate, explains the World Health Organization. The harmful parasite may be infecting food and other products consumable to people like raw meat and milk, apple cider made directly from the farm, salads, fermented milk, and raw vegetables had caused outbreaks, reports CNN Health.

To avoid the harmful parasite crypto from infecting people swimming and water park enthusiasts, it is advised not to swallow water from these facilities as a mouthful can do extreme damage when ingested. Parents should avoid pool toys that encourage swallowing water like plastic cups. Take children on frequent bathroom breaks. Check diapers in changing areas, not near the pool. Hlavsa says that people share the water to swim and not the germs, feces or urine.

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