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.

Click Here to view CDC.GOV Fact Sheet

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