Parasite Can Live in Swimming Pools For Days


It can be spread when those who have been infected and have diarrhea go swimming.

As the sun continues to shine, people are cooling off in the pool.

“Diarrhea is the number one symptom of the condition and you’re still contagious with it for up to three to five days until it stops completely,” Dr. Brannon Perilloux said.

Before you dive in the pool make sure to be cautious.

“The younger the patient the higher the risk,” he said.

The centers for disease control and prevention is warning about the parasite Cryptosporidium, better known as “crypto.” 

“It is a parasite that is commonly found in contaminated waters, such as swimming pools, waterparks, spray pads. That sort of stuff. It’s pretty common between the ages of one, 10, 12 because those are the ages of the kids going more to public swimming pools and water parks,” he said.

So, what is the best way to not get it? Make sure your child does not swallow the water and do not allow them to swim if they have diarrhea.

“It’s going to come directly from feces. Some child may have had diarrhea loose stool watery poop that leaked through a swim diaper or just happened to go in a regular bathing suit and it ends up in the water,” he said.

If a child does get a hold of the parasite it may stay with them for a while.

“Crypto can last anywhere between one and 20 days by itself and usually it lasts between a week and 10 days. So, once you get it you’re going to have it for a long time. The most problematic aspect of it tends to be dehydration. The younger the child the greater the chance of dehydration,” Dr. Perilloux said.

At Liberty Lagoon Water Park, officials say they are constantly checking their water.

“Cleaning the pool is daily. We back wash daily which means we clean the filters in the back daily that catches the bacteria in the water,” Daniel Burg, the aquatics manager, said.

Burg went on to say that there’s only been one case of a child having an accident in the pool so far this year and when it happens, the pool closes for a short period of time for a thorough cleaning.

“We’d clear it. Clear out any fecal matter that might be in there and then test the chemicals depending on what the chemicals are and what the oxidation rate of the water is, that determines how long we close the pool for,” Burg said.  

The CDC says they’ve seen a nearly 13% increase every year between 2009 and 2017.

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