Pool parasite spreads across U.S., including Arizona

Staying safe while swimming - CDC warns about rise of pool parasite

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Center for Disease Control is warning people about a pool parasite. Cryptosporidium, or Crypto for short, has been spreading in pools around the U.S, and over the last few years, the parasite has been spreading even faster.

Tucson public pools are trying to stay ahead of the game. Pools and splash pads are tested periodically during operating hours. Splash pads also have automated sensors to shut off water if levels are imbalanced. However, the parasite the CDC is concerned about is tough. It can cause severe diarrhea for weeks.

“It’s chlorine resistant, up to a certain point,” said Billy Sassi, aquatics manager for the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation.

Sassi said most pools have secondary ways of killing parasites and bacteria, using things like UV light. However, Menlo, Freedom, Mansfield, Kennedy and Jessie Owens pools have one method. Still there have been no cases of Crypto this year in Tucson, according to public health officials.

In a report released by the CDC, there have been more than 7,000 Crypto cases in 40 states and Puerto Rico from 2009 to 2017.

Arizona has one of the lowest rates of the parasite. In eight years, there have been less than five cases of Crypto.

To prevent any recreational waterborne illness, Sassi recommends showering before and after swimming and said people should not swim after having diarrhea.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.