Good news, summer is just around the corner! Bad news, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention just announced that outbreaks of a parasitic diarrhea-causing infection linked to pools and water playgrounds has doubled in the last two years.
According to CNN, a parasite called Cryptosporidium, or "Crypto" for short, is more common than ever, and the reason for its spread is really, really disgusting.
The parasite spreads through the feces of an infected person, and could cause up to three weeks of "watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting." Those symptoms could lead to a much more serious issue: dehydration.
In 2016, 32 recorded outbreaks of Crypto were reported in the U.S. That's double the 16 reported cases in 2014.
Unfortunately, Crypto is also notoriously difficult to get rid of. Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC's Healthy Swimming Program, told CNN that "Crypto is extremely hard to kill with normal levels of chlorine," and the best way to prevent the spread of the parasite is to be careful and take precautions when it comes to summer fun activities, especially if they involve young children and water.
So here is how to prevent turning into a poop geyser for three weeks:
- While swimming, be careful not to swallow any water.
- Take extra precautions at public pools and playgrounds with water features.
- If you have kids, make sure you are changing their diapers often, and, to put it delicately, that they are "all clean" after using the restroom.
- Don't let kids who are sick with diarrhea swim in the first place.
- Last and not least, don't pee in the pool, you sicko.