Pool Parasite Warning

June 29, 2015

Family At PoolCryptosporidium (“Crypto“) is the most common waterborne parasite in the US. While it can be found in drinking water, this summer, you should watch out for crypto in pools.

With a hard protective shell, the parasite cryptosporidium can survive in chlorinated water for 10 days. How do you know if a pool is safe? 2 ways:

-First, your local health department has data about the care of public pools (similar to the rating restaurants get).

-Second, look around. Are the posted hygiene rules, like showering before you get in? Are pool-goers following the rules?–(Because they’re almost never strictly enforced.)

Symptoms of cryptosporidium include diarrhea, and will hit hardest in people with weakened immune systems (little kids being the most likely). Because symptoms can tend toward severe, start taking hydrating liquids like coconut water, pedialyte, etc., immediately if you think there could be a chance you have Crypto (or another severe form of diarrhea). Report severe symptoms to your doctor—some people will lose enough water to need IV treatment in a hospital.

You can prevent spreading Crypto (and other diseases) by not getting in any pool if you’ve had diarrhea recently, and by washing thoroughly before getting in (sick or not).

You can reduce the risk of catching Crypto by evaluating any pool you use the same way you would a restaurant. And keep your immune system strong—because there’s no way to guarantee you won’t be exposed. Since this is a GI disease, you can eat lots of probiotics (like yogurt and other fermented foods) or take a probiotic supplement. You can also support your immune system with colloidal silver.

Do you plan to lounge at the pool this summer?

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