People getting sick from fecal parasite in pools, CDC says. Here’s how to stay safe

Cooling off in the pool or spending the day at a water park are classic summer activities, but government health officials warn that there are parasites lurking in communal water that even chlorine can’t kill.

In a well-chlorinated pool, the Giardia parasite can survive for up to 45 minutes, and the hepatitis A virus can survive for about 16 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A parasite called cryptosporidium, or crypto, can survive for more than a week even in a properly treated pool or water park, according to epidemiologist Michele Hlavsa.

Exposure to crypto in pools and water playgrounds caused 4,232 illnesses from 2009 to 2017, according to a report released Thursday by the CDC. People, children in particular, who swim too soon after having a case of diarrhea can spread the parasite.

"Unlike maybe norovirus or E. coli, which cause diarrhea or vomiting for a couple days, you can have diarrhea caused by crypto for up to three weeks," said Hlavsa, one of the study’s authors. "That’s not fun."

The number of illnesses caused by crypto associated […]

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People getting sick from fecal parasite in pools, CDC says. Here's how to stay safe
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People getting sick from fecal parasite in pools, CDC says. Here's how to stay safe
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A parasite called cryptosporidium, or crypto, can survive for more than a week even in a properly treated pool or water park, according to epidemiologists.
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USA Today
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