The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention are warning of yet another bacteria that lurks in recreational water facilities, causing severe outbreaks.
The bacteria at hand is titled cryptosporidium and is mostly commonly known for causing sever diarrhea. So, upon embarking for a pleasant outing at either a pool or a hot tub, be reminded that cryptosporidium resides in recreational water facilities where hygiene conditions are fairly poor or not sufficiently endorsed.
According to the recently published report of the U.S. CDC, between 2011 and 2012 there have been as much as 1,788 infections with cryptosporidium, 95 hospitalization due to severe symptoms and one registered death caused by the bacteria. The geographical span of the report included Puerto Rico and 32 other states.
The major concern related to cryptosporidium is that is is highly resilient in heavily treated recreational water facilities. Normally, pools and hot tubs alike are treated as least with chlorine to purify the water.
Michele Hlavsa of the Healthy Swimming Program of the CDC, stated her concern related to the diarrhea causing bacteria as others, such as E.coli are known to resist as much as a few hours in chlorine treated water.
Cryptosporidium can resist up to two weeks in the same environment. Mrs. Hlavsa stated:
“It can survive for 10 days. With these outbreaks, we see they disproportionately affect younger children. They’re the ones who can go to a pool and young children tend to carry lots of germs.”
Cryptosporidium is a bacteria that is typically associated with fecal matter. People who have had diarrhea or who have poor hygiene routines and enter the pool or hot tub may easily leave the bacteria behind.
Children particularly are at risk of both being contaminated and contaminating the water with cryptosporidium. While in normal cases the bacteria is cleared out of the human system in two weeks, people with a weak immune system may be more severely affected. Severe cases include chronic diarrhea or death caused by chronic diarrhea.
The following symptoms are common in the case of contamination with cryptosporidium: watery diarrhea, of course dehydration which leads to weight loss and a severe lack of appetite.
Also, if you experience stomach cramps, vomiting caused by nausea or the common fever, a visit to the physician is recommended.
Alongside common sense rules of hygiene that should closely be observed by all pool and hot tub goers, the CDC recommends that people should even purchase their own chlorine tests.
It is a safety recommendation that can bring an added value as cryptosporidium is of course not visible to the naked eye and inspection sheets of the pools or hot tubs are often elusive.
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