Protect your family this summer: pool parasite on the rise

Posted at 8:42 AM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 08:42:33-04

The CDC issued a warning about a hard to kill parasite that's on the rise in swimming pools.

It's called "crypto" which is short for cryptosporidium. It's a parasite that's commonly spread through water, like in swimming pools.

"The tough thing about crypto is that it's a hearty organism. The amount of chlorine that's needed to kill it could be harmful to children," says Dr. Dennis Kuo, head of general pediatrics at UBMD. 

The parasite commonly causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. It usually lasts one to two weeks and can go away on its own.

To prevent getting and spreading crypto, Dr. Kuo recommends you shower before and after swimming. Don't swallow any of the water. If you've been infected, stay out of public pools for two weeks after your symptoms subside.

While you're out in the sun and warmth, also keep in mind these tips:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink before you're thirsty, every 20 minutes.
  • If you're active for more than an hour, consider a sports drink to keep you hydrated
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing to avoid overheating
  • Wear protective clothing from the sun, like hats and sunglasses
  • Wear a sunscreen that's at least SPF 15. Reapply often, more if you're in the water
  • For babies and toddlers, protect them from the sun more with protective clothing
  • Wear bug spray with DEET, but avoid mixing it with sunscreen