Cryptosporidium parasite photo
Cryptosporidium parasite

A new infection is rising very fast in the US in the last few years. It has been identified as a parasite called Cryptosporidium and has been found to be transmitted mainly in swimming pools. It has been known for a while that many people, probably including some of our readers too, urinate while in the pool. The common sense goes that it’s all water anyway, it’ll get mixed up and no one will ever notice. And that is somehow fine, but it turns out the parasite is transmitted in an even more unusual way. Faeces.

  • Yes, apparently people do relieve themselves of their number twos in pools. The parasite spreads when something, in this case pool water, that has touched the feces of a sick person is swallowed. The result is a horrific three weeks of liquid diarrhoea, nausea, stomachaches, vomiting and even dehydration.
  • The number of infections has been in a constant rise as the number of outbreaks more than doubled between 2014 and 2016. In the face of such a fast spread, the American Center for Disease Control has been issuing a set of guidelines for both swimming pool managers as well as general swimmers.
  • It is therefore advised to apply the process of hyperchlorination for several hours which is the only procedure that will thoroughly disinfect the pool waters from the parasite. As for swimmers, the advice is an obvious one. Always shower before getting in the pool especially if you have been having diarrhoea.

What to do?

Among other guidelines, it is essential to try as much as one can to not swallow any water while swimming. Obviously, this is no easy task because a simple mouthful of water at any point of your swim is enough to infect you. Otherwise, parents are also urged to frequently change babies’ diapers if you’re planning on taking them to the pool and doing so in a different area from the pool area.

Also, if you know that you have contracted the disease, it is really best for everyone if you stay out of the pool, at least for three weeks.

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