This Outbreak Spreading Across the Country Has Scientists Warning Us to Stay Away from the Pool

People with an aversion to swimming pools like to cite the smorgasbord of germ sources in the water. There’s pee. There’s vomit. There’s poo. There are also open, bloody sores. Dirty band-aids. Saggy, dirty diapers.

And the occasional dead creature. You know you’ve seen most of these if you’ve ever gone to a group swimming hole or water park. Enticing, huh? Well, now folks can add living creatures to that list. The CDC has been tracking cryptosporidium – a.k.a Crypto – and its rise to infamy in the United States.

Caused by a parasite, Crypto is an infection that wreaks havoc on the gastrointestinal system. It causes diarrhea when a person swallows water that has been contaminated with infected feces. In 2016, the number of reported outbreaks was 32, double the reported amount in 2014. In Ohio, 1,940 people got sick with crypto in 2016! That’s just ONE outbreak.

The parasite is spread through a sick person’s infected diarrhea or other fecal matter. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and people can remain ill for up to three weeks. Ingesting a tiny amount of tainted water can bring a healthy person down.

Image of Crypto parasite.

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