If you are headed to the pool this summer season, you are not alone. Millions of Americans will take a quick dip to cool down. Unfortunately, according to Green Water Technologies, some of these may also be carrying an unwelcome passenger: Cryptosporidium.
Green Water Technologies explains that Cryptosporidium is a bacterium that can be introduced into water by the feces of infected people. Although most folks have the common sense not to go swimming with a have a gastrointestinal disturbance, certain bacteria can linger long after symptoms dissipate. Unfortunately, chlorine is not necessarily effective in killing the bug.
So, what is the best way to avoid the stomach pains and diarrhea, which can last for up to three weeks, associated with Cryptosporidium? While avoiding swimming pools is the obvious answer, you should not have to ruin your summer fun. Instead, the water experts from Green Water Technologies say to just stick to private pools. If that is not possible, the next best option is to teach children to avoid getting water in their mouths when they swim.
Preventing the spread
The only way to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidium is to avoid introducing it into the water in the first place. Green Water Technologies note that this means not swimming for at least two weeks after being sick. Then, make a point to shower before entering the water.
Swimming pools are not the only area of concern. Splash pads, water parks, and water-based play structures are also ideal breeding grounds for these long-lasting germs. These areas are warm, have high concentrations of children, and may not be cleaned as often as they should.
There is currently no quick-fix to fight Cryptosporidium bacteria. As the leading waterborne illness in the US, outbreaks increase by more than 10% every year. Green Water Technologies explains that prevention is the best medicine, and the only cure is to wait it out, which can cast a shadow on an otherwise enjoyable summer.