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CDC Warns of Increased Parasitic Infection Risk Associated with More People Using Pools as Toilets

 Do you use community swimming pools? Public swimming pools, pools at hotels, etc.?

I haven’t, for a long time.


While I may have developed into a bit of a germaphobe over the years, one need not have an acute, heightened aversion to germs to think twice…maybe three times…about using a public pool or other bathing facility.

Many would say that my disinclination to swim in pools is not rooted in facts or logic, and that the chlorine used in pools is what keeps all of us safe from bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

Except…we’re not safe from those things; not at all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As a matter of fact, according to the CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” issued last Thursday, outbreaks of a parasitic diarrhea-causing infection linked to pools and water parks doubled between 2014 and 2016 in the United States.

According to Michele Hlavsa, chief of the CDC’s Healthy Swimming Program, “Cryptosporidium is a germ that can make people sick with diarrhea for up to three weeks.”

And how is cryptosporidium spread? By the feces of someone who’s infected with it.


So, not only do you now know that the behaviors you long-feared were going on in swimming pools are actually occurring, but it appears those behaviors are drastically increasing in frequency.

Still eager to go for a dip in the pool?

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large