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by The Kid's Doctor Staff


Cryptosporidium is a parasite and is one of the leading causes of water-borne illness in the United States. It can infect both humans and animals. “It’s a hardy parasite that survives for a long period of time and is also resistant to chlorine,” says The Kid’s Doctor, pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard.

“Your average pool with normal levels of chlorine are not protected against cryptosporidium and that’s why the pools are being closed and then being hyper-chlorinated to get rid of the crypto. The problem is, the pool can be re-infected,” she says.

Dr. Hubbard cautions parents that not every child who has abdominal cramps and diarrhea has crypto because there are bugs going around that will give you the same symptoms. She advises “if you have persistent abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, those are the people who need to bring in a stool sample.”

Cryptosporidium can be treated in children over the age of one with an anti-parasitic agent called Alina.

Dr. Hubbard cautions that if a child is diagnosed with crypto or has had persistent diarrhea they need to stay out of the pool for two weeks. One of the best ways to prevent transmission is to encourage your child to practice good hand hygiene when at the pool by always washing their hands after a visit to the restroom.

More Information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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