are heading to the swimming pool, or a water park, stay
healthy by keeping cryptosporidium at bay.
(crypto) infections are caused by microscopic parasites that
are spread through drinking water, or recreational water, such
as swimming pools and hot tubs, and can cause intestinal
distress including diarrhea.
parasites, which live in the intestines of humans or animals,
are shed in stool. Cryptosporidium is highly contagious, but
there are ways protect yourself and family from becoming ill.
activities where you might accidentally swallow some of the
water in the swimming pool would be one of the best ways to
prevent getting infected," says Mayo Clinic pediatric
infectious diseases specialist Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse.
"The important thing also to know about how this
infection is transmitted or spread from person to person is
that you can actually pass the cryptosporidium parasite in
your stool even once your diarrhea has gone away. We have
detected it in stool up to two weeks after diarrhea has gotten
these tips to prevent the spread of cryptosporidium.
swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea. If diarrhea
is caused by crypto, wait until two weeks after diarrhea has
stopped to go swimming.
swallow the water in which you swim.
Rinse off in the shower before and after getting in the water
to help remove any germs on your body that could contaminate
kids on bathroom breaks often, and check diapers in a
diaper-changing area not next to the pool.
your hands well after using the bathroom and changing diapers.
parasites are one of the more common causes of infectious
diarrhea in humans, because they are not easily killed by
chlorine and can survive up to 10 days in properly treated
kind of troublesome thing about the cryptosporidium parasite
is that it is surrounded with kind of a protective
capsule," says Rajapakse. "This makes it pretty
resistant to the usual levels of chlorination that we use in
swimming pools. There are special procedures that pools have
to do called hyperchlorination if they are found to have this
infection spreading through their pool. But it can be a
difficult organism to get rid of."
of cryptosporidium include:
Stomach cramps or pain
healthy children and adults, the symptoms will resolve without
any specific treatment within a couple of weeks. The most
important thing is to drink plenty of fluids and stay well
hydrated. However, the infection can be more severe and
prolonged in people with weakened immune systems. These
individuals should discuss their symptoms with their health
care provider to determine if any tests or treatment is