Facts About Crypto and Swimming Pools
What is Crypto and how can it affect me?
“Crypto” (krip-TOE), short for Cryptosporidium, is a germ that causes diarrhea. This germ is found in the fecal matter of a person who has been infected by Crypto. It has a tough outer shell that allows it to survive for a long time in the environment. It can survive for days even in properly chlorinated pools. Crypto is microscopic, so it can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Why Should I Be Concerned about Crypto?
Crypto is one of the leading causes of recreational water illness (disease caused by germs spread through water in the places we swim) in the United States and can cause prolonged diarrhea (for 2–3 weeks).
It can make anyone sick, but certain groups of people are more likely to become seriously ill when infected with Crypto:
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- Individuals with weakened immune systems
During the past two decades, Crypto has become recognized as one of the leading causes of waterborne illness in the United States. The germ is found in every part of the United States and the world.
How is Crypto Spread at Aquatic Facilities?
Crypto is not spread by contact with blood. Crypto can be spread by:
- Swallowing recreational water contaminated with Crypto. You share the water—and the germs in it—with every person who enters the pool. This means that just one person with diarrhea can easily contaminate the water.
- Swallowing even a small amount of pool water that has been contaminated with the Crypto germ can make you sick.
- Putting something in your mouth or swallowing something (such as food) that has come in contact with the feces of a person or animal infected with Crypto.
- Swallowing Crypto picked up from surfaces (such as lounge chairs, picnic tables, bathroom fixtures, changing tables) contaminated with feces from an infected person.
CDC – Cryptosporidium – Recreational Water Illness
May 20, 2015 – Education and information about cryptosporidium, how it can be spread through swimming pools and other recreational water…
Crypto parasite outbreaks
Increasing in Pools Across US by Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer | June 25, 2015 01:00pm ET
A diarrhea-causing parasite that is often transmitted through water is causing an increasing
number of outbreaks in U.S. pools and spas, according to a new report from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.
From 2011 to 2012, there were 90 outbreaks and 1,788 cases of any illness linked to using
recreational water, according to information reported from 32 states and Puerto Rico. Most
of these outbreaks (77 percent) occurred in water that was treated
(for example, with chlorine or bromine), such as pools, spas and hot tubs, while 23 percent
of the outbreaks involved untreated water, such as lakes and oceans, the CDC said.
Among the outbreaks linked to treated water, more than half were caused by a
parasite called Cryptosporidium, also known as Crypto, which causes diarrhea,
the CDC said. This parasite is able to survive even in chlorine-treated pools
for more than 10 days. Crypto was responsible for more than 90 percent of pool
outbreaks that occurred during summer months.
More Pool Outbreaks Tied to ‘Crypto’ Parasite – LiveScience Jun 25, 2015 – A diarrhea-causing parasite often transmitted through water is causing an … ‘
Crypto’ Parasite Outbreaks Increasing in Pools Across US.