What they don’t know is that swimming in the pool is not completely harmless. Earlier this week, the news about people urinating in the water has become somewhat worrying, given the toxicity swimmers might be exposed to.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention warn that this is not the only threat we are exposed to. Apparently, there is another tiny enemy living in the water, better known as a nasty parasite called cryptosporidium.
This parasite resides in recreational water found in pools but also lakes and ponds. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are particularly worried because the occurrence of this parasite seems to have enhanced, as there were twice as many people infected with it from 2011 to 2012.
The parasite is not extremely common, but between 2011 and 2012 it harmed 1.788 people, leading to 95 hospitalizations and 1 death.
When ingested, this parasite causes symptoms that are similar to food poisoning. These include vomiting, upset stomach and diarrhea. Because its symptoms resemble food poisoning so much, it is sometimes difficult to tell them apart and get a real report on how many cases there actually are.
The disease caused by the parasite is part of a group called recreational water diseases. Other parasites can cause various diseases such as eye or ear infections and gastrointestinal problems.
This parasite is particularly dangerous because chlorine does not manage to kill it, due to the fact that it has a hard shell and it can live in the water for about 10 days.
Therefore, people should make sure they take all the precautions necessary, in order to avoid getting sick or making other people ill.
A way to do that is to check if the water is being used by someone who has been vomiting or had diarrhea recently. This is not easy to control unless you are using a private pool.
You should also make sure you take a shower not only after you’ve swum in a pool but also before that.
Families with small children are advised to make sure their kids use the bathroom regularly and their diapers are changed.
Parasites in the swimming pool can become quite dangerous if such preventive measures are not taken, according to the reports published in the journals “Mortality Weekly Report” and “Morbidity”.
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