Are Parasites Swimming in Your Public Pools and Water Parks?

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Every year many cases of Cryptosporidium are reported to state health departments. Over the years several water parks had to temporarily close their pool facilities due to contamination and large outbreaks of Cryptosporidium infections.

Cryptosporidiosis (both the infection and the organism are sometimes referred to as "crypto") is the disease caused by parasites of the genus Cryptosporidium. Infection with these organisms produces gastrointestinal symptoms including:

As a result of the diarrhea and vomiting, people with Cryptosporidiosis often become dehydrated and may lose weight. An estimated 748,000 cases of Cryptosporidiosis occur every year in the US.

The organism lives in the intestine of infected persons or animals and is passed in the stool (feces). Cryptosporidia are very hardy organisms that can live outside the body for long periods of time and can survive in the presence of chlorine and many common disinfectants. The organism has been found in drinking water and swimming pools throughout the world, and all over the U.S.