Families seeking to cool off don’t expect to pick up a nasty infection. Yet, outbreaks of a diarrhea-causing parasitic infection have doubled in recent years at swimming pools and water playgrounds in the United States, health officials warn.
At least 32 outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis were reported in 2016, compared with 16 outbreaks in 2014, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Crypto is the most common cause of diarrhea, the CDC says. It spreads when people come in contact with the feces of an infected person.
Otherwise healthy people can be sick for up to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea or vomiting, the CDC warns. The infection can become life-threatening in people with compromised immune systems.
The cause? Adults or children sick with crypto-caused diarrhea are swimming in public pools despite their illness and further spreading the parasite, said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s