NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The Centers for Disease Control is warning Americans about a fecal parasite that can live for a week in chlorinated swimming pools.
The parasite is called cryptosporidium, or “crypto” for short. It can lead to cryptosporidiosis, which causes "profuse, watery diarrhea" for as long as three weeks.
A swimmer can catch “crypto” when he or she swallows water in a pool. A person doesn't have to consume much of the parasite to cause an infection and the organism can live in a chlorinated pool for up to a week, according to the CDC.
The parasite is rarely deadly – one person has died from it since 2009 – but the CDC says nearly 300 were hospitalized in 444 outbreaks in 40 states between 2009 and 2017.
More than a third of “crypto” cases were caught from pools. Others were caused by contact with animals and in child care settings.