Crypto illness outbreaks linked to swimming on rise, CDC says

CDC: 32 Crypto outbreaks linked to swimming pools, water playgrounds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Centers for Disease Control said Crypto illness outbreaks are on the rise. The illness is linked to fecal matter that ends up in swimming pools.

Crypto is a parasite that lives in the intestines of infected humans and animals.

The CDC is now reporting that in the last year, there were 32 Crypto outbreaks linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds. That's twice as many outbreaks as reported in 2014.

The infection spreads when swimmers accidentally swallow pool water tainted with diarrhea or feces of a sick person.

Kristin Conrad is a parent who monitors her son's swimming practice. She said she is fully aware of this type of illness.

"When somebody spits up or throws up, it's so acidic, so you don't need to evacuate the pool, but certainly, anything that comes out the other end is an issue," Conrad said.

It's an issue that can make healthy people sick for up to three weeks with diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting. Crypto is also extremely hard to kill with standard pool disinfectants.

The CDC is warning parents not to allow kids who are sick with diarrhea to swim. It is also warning parents not to change diapers near a pool, but Conrad said there is something else people are forgetting.

"I think people simply aren't educated on handwashing," Conrad said. "When you're done changing a diaper, it's handwashing. When you use the restroom, it's handwashing, so you have to go back to that, let alone accidents that happen in the pool."

The CDC also said swimmers should try to avoid ingesting pool water.

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