Several counties from Ohio had to alert the public against a crypto outbreak that spread in the state’s chlorinated pools. Up until now, the disease was identified in Delaware County, Franklin County, and Columbus.
Since the detection of the first case, more than 100 people had been infected with a parasite that can survive in chlorinated environments. The number of people sickened is three times greater than the total cases from the last three years.
The illness is common in pools. However, the multitude of cases spread over a short time made health officials declare it to be an outbreak.
The parasite could not be linked to any particular water facility, as people who got sick repeatedly went to various pools in the three counties.
The Crypto cases are on the rise on a national level. In the 1990s, the Cryptosporidiosis occurrence was one in 100,000 people. In 2011, the proportion tripled, and one year later there were 17,000 reported cases in the US.
The infection is common in the Midwest, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report six cases of Crypto in 100,000 people.
The Crypto Parasite
The infectious agent can live more than ten days in chlorinated water, as it had an outer shell that protects it. The germ is found in the fecal matter of an individual already infected.
The contamination appears when people swallow the water. It can also spread by contact from one person to another.
The main symptom of the condition is watery diarrhea. People often report vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever, which can last for two weeks. However, the infected person can spread the illness for several weeks after the symptoms have ceased.
The CDC recommends the public to shower before and after swimming. People should also avoid swallowing water from the pool, and should wash their hands diligently with soap and water.
Special attention should be given to children, and parents are advised to take kids for frequent bathroom breaks while they are swimming. Moreover, parents need to change diapers in the bathroom and not by the pool.
In case a person is already diagnosed with Crypto, they should stay away from pools at least for two weeks after the symptoms have stopped. Individuals who have diarrhea are not allowed to swim.
As for pool owners, the CDC recommends treating the water with ozone or ultraviolet water in order to inactivate the parasite.
Image Source: Flickr