Before you head into your neighbor’s pool you might want to hear this. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that outbreaks of “crypto,” a swimming-related diarrheal illness, are on the rise. Between 2009 and 2017 there were nearly 450 outbreaks of crypto (short for cryptosporidiosis) reported in the U.S., which resulted in more than 7,400 illnesses– and the outbreaks of the illness increased 13 percent year over year across the span of the eight-year study period.
Crypto can cause “profuse, watery diarrhea” that can last up to three weeks, according to the CDC. The parasite is the leading cause of outbreaks tied to recreational water use, such as swimming in pools and lakes. It’s a hearty organism that can survive in chlorinated water for ten days or longer. Study authors say development of improved testing methods for crypto may have contributed to the increase in reported outbreaks seen in the study.