Health officials: beware of crypto in pools, waterparks

Posted at 5:12 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 19:16:13-04

As school ends and summer begins, local pools and water parks are open for business. But with the fun, comes the most common swimming pool-related infection reported in Idaho -- cryptosporidium.

"It's not something that is killed instantly by chlorine, so it's really important that people experiencing diahrrea really not be swimming and that they take a break at least 48 hours after they've had symptoms," said Christine Myron, public information officer with Central District Health. 

Cryptosporidium -- also known as crypto -- is a microscopic parasite that spreads easily at splash parks and pools. It happens when those infected get into the water.

So Central District Health leaders warn people to take some extra precautions by having good hygiene when going out to a swimming pool and most importantly, try to avoid swallowing the pool water. 

Also, when visiting a pool or splash pad, it's recommended that children who are not potty-trained wear swim diapers. 

"A good rule of thumb is every hour, get your kids out of the pool, have them take a little break, wash your hands, get your sunscreen on again and take a drink of water to make sure they're staying hydrated."

The Department of Health and Welfare receives more than 100 reports of crypto a year for Idahoans, though the actual number could be much higher, because some people won't seek medical care. 

Most people who are infected recover on their own, but medication will make for a quicker recovery. 

Click HERE for more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on safe swimming.