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Ohio Officials Warn Against Swallowing Swimming Pool Water To Prevent Infection

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Health authorities in central Ohio are telling residents not to drink or swallow water at public swimming pools after a diarrheal attack infected at least 107 people, Fox News reports.

According to a WHIO report, three counties in the area this year have seen higher numbers of the gastrointestinal infection cryptosporidiosis, nicknamed crypto, compared to the past three years combined. Columbus Public Health has reported a total of 107 crypto cases in Delaware, Franklin and Colombus. As a whole, Ohio has reported a 50% increase in the number of crypto cases in 2016, prompting officials to declare an outbreak Thursday.

The minuscule, chlorine-resistant parasites that cause crypto are spread mostly through water. Amy Schmitt, a public health nurse, says that the best way to prevent crypto infections is to keep those who have or had it out of the water, and to make sure people, especially children, do not ingest swimming pool water. Schmitt says,

We want to make sure that if they’re sick, particularly with diarrhea, they really shouldn’t be swimming.

She adds that patients with crypto should not swim for at least two weeks after diarrhea has stopped.

Crypto, which is detected through lab tests, can also be spread by streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, splash pads and water parks. The parasite has an outer shell that protects it, allowing it to survive outside for long periods of time and making it resistant to chlorine in swimming pools.

Symptoms of this illness include diarrhea, stomach pains, and vomiting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some tips to avoid falling sick due from crypto are to wash hands regularly with soap and water, drink water only from safe sources, boil water for drinking when camping, wash all raw fruits and vegetables with running water from a safe source, and be extra careful when swimming in public areas.

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