Pools – Cryptosporidium

What is Cryptosporidium?


Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes cryptosporidiosis. It is caused by swallowing food or water that is contaminated with cryptosporidium or by having contact with people who have crypto or their environment. This germ is the leading cause of waterborne disease outbreaks. The most common symptom of “crypto” is watery diarrhea. However, it can also cause stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever, weight loss, or no symptoms at all. If present, symptoms typically begin 2 to 10 days after infection. In people with healthy immune systems, symptoms generally last one to two weeks, but can come and go for up to 30 days. If you have been diagnosed with Crypto, stay out of the water for an additional two weeks after diarrhea stops.

Typically, symptoms resolve on their own. However, people with compromised immune systems may experience more severe and prolonged illness, and may require treatment by their doctor. Anyone with diarrhea, especially young children and pregnant women, should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. 

Cryptosporidiosis outbreaks from 2009-2017: pools and water playgrounds (35%), cattle (15%) childcare (13%)

Cryptosporidium in Pools