You may think twice about hitting the pool or hot tub this summer after a new report from the CDC says the number of parasitic outbreaks is on the rise.
The new report, issued Friday, documented 90 outbreaks in recreational water venues between 2011 and 2012. The CDC found at least 1,788 cases, 95 hospitalizations and one death. The cases were tracked in 32 states, as well Puerto Rico.
A leading cause of the outbreaks is cryptosporidium, otherwise known as “crypto.” The parasite is easily transmittable in pools or at water parks because of its small size and its ability to resist chlorine disinfection, says the CDC.
“This parasite is extremely chlorine-resistant. Swimmers bring it into the water when they are sick with diarrhea,” the report’s lead author Michele Hlavsa told CBS News.
Crypto causes diarrhea in children, with the primary symptoms being watery diarrhea, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and fever.
The CDC issued a set of guidelines for swimming venues that have experienced crypto outbreaks, suggesting locations “install secondary disinfection like ultraviolet light or ozone to kill the parasite,” CBS reports.
Swimmers are urged to avoid swimming when they’ve had diarrhea, in order to keep the possibility of an outbreak or contamination low.