Warnings Of Swimming Pool Parasite Spreads Across Arizona

Swimming pools are found in abundance across the state of Arizona. A staple activity of triple-digit summer temps, public pools are a favorite pastime for those looking to cool off from the excessive heat.

But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Arizona residents and visitors of a pesky parasite infecting pool water across the Valley.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that spreads in swimming pools when an infected person contaminates the water with fecal matter, according to CNN.

The parasite can live up to 10 days in chlorinated pools, and causes watery diarrhea to those who contract the parasite. Currently, more than 100 people have fallen ill from roughly 20 different pools since the first reported diagnosis on August 4.

Many of the reports are from public pools and water parks where a high volume of people visit, especially during the peak summer months.

The parasite is contracted when a person accidentally swallows pool water that has been contaminated. Some show no signs or symptoms, while others experience diarrhea 2 to 10 days after ingesting the pool water.

Those with a healthy immune system usually recover in 1 to 2 weeks after infection, and typically without any treatment.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health and the Environmental Services Department are responding to calls and concerns about any pool that may be infected.

Both agencies recommend that pools be properly decontaminated per the CDC’s instructions should any patrons show signs of contracting cryptosporidium.

The CDC advises all to not swim while sick, and for those who are experiencing diarrhea as part of their symptoms, to wait up to 2 weeks after the symptom is gone before swimming in a pool.

Also, for those looking to beat the heat by splashing around, keep the pool water of your mouth, wash your hands often, and take regular bathroom breaks out of the pool.

Because the outbreak is community-wide, keeping the pools clean is the best way to help fight cryptosporidium from spreading to to even more pools across the Valley.