The favorite summer past time of hitting the pool risks catching an intestinal parasite. The CDC reports that Cryptosporidium, Crypto for short, can survive for 10 days in chlorinated water, and it only takes a mouthful of contaminated water to get infected. Crypto is an intestinal parasite that can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and vomiting for up to three weeks.
According to the CDC, “Swallowing just a mouthful of water contaminated with Crypto can make otherwise healthy people sick for up to three weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting, and can lead to dehydration.” They further state “Crypto is the most common cause of diarrheal illness and outbreaks linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds because it is not easily killed by chlorine and can survive up to 10 days in properly treated water.”
Outbreaks of Crypto are linked to swimming pools and water playgrounds and have doubled between 2014 and 2016. The CDC says “It is not clear whether the number of outbreaks has increased or whether better surveillance and laboratory methods are leading to better outbreak detection.”
The CDC suggests not to swallow any pool water and to take a shower when you get out of the pool. They also state that patients should not go swimming until they no long have symptoms and have been diarrhea-free for two weeks. Furthermore, swimmers should wash with soap before going swimming to avoid spreading any fecal contaminants to other people.