ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) – Not to be a party-pooper, but you should know there could be something nasty in your neighborhood pool.
A survey conducted by the Water Quality Health Council found that 25 percent of adults would swim within an hour of having diarrhea.
Of those surveyed, 52 percent seldom or never shower before swimming a pool and 60 percent admit to swallowing pool water while swimming.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say the results are concerning because waterborne outbreaks of diarrheal disease caused by Cryptosporidium or Crypto pose a health concern.
Health officials say Crypto is a parasite can spread when someone swallows water that has been contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected swimmer.
Symptoms aside from diarrhea include lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, stomach cramps or pain, and fever.
“Normal chlorine disinfection of swimming pool water does a great job in destroying most germs, but Crypto presents a special challenge,” said Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality and Health Council. “An awareness of Crypto helps us remember that a healthy pool depends on swimmers being considerate of one another. Showering before swimming, refraining from peeing in the pool, and not swimming for two weeks after experiencing diarrhea can help keep swimming fun and healthy for everyone from ‘water babies’ to seniors.”
Anyone infected with Crypto is urged to avoid swimming for two weeks after recovering from diarrhea.
Experts say Crypto is not easily killed by chlorine and can live up to 10 days in well-treated pools.
To learn more about the Water Quality and Health Council and its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of disinfection for public health, visit waterandhealth.org.