Augusta, GA (WJBF) – With schools letting out, kids are heading to the pool for the summer. The CDC has issued a warning about a dangerous parasite in those waters. The parasite is known as ‘Crypto’.
“Generally any parasite is dangerous whether it comes from a child having an accident in the pool or just something that’s brought in from outside,” said Idral Bowen, Aquatics Supervisor of the Augusta Aquatics Center.
“Of course our first line of defense for any organism in the water is the chlorine levels is to make sure its properly kept at a proper level at all times,” said Gerry Simara, Certified Pool Operator.
Cryptosporidium or what is commonly known as ‘Crypto’ is a germ that can make people sick with diarrhea for up to three weeks.. in 2016 the CDC received word of 32 outbreaks linked to swimming pools or water playgrounds.
“I’ve heard a little bit about it but it’s really not that much of a concern for us because of the level we keep our chemicals at,” said Idral Bowen, Aquatics Supervisor of the Augusta Aquatics Center.
“I also go by with a more in depth check, checking all of the chemicals, the alkaline levels, the PH levels, and making an adjustments to the chemicals if necessary and that’s done daily at all five pools,” said Gerry Simara, Certified Pool Operator.
Crypto is extremely hard to kill in pools. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting leading to dehydration.
“Now diarrhea is a different because then we know that the person is actually sick, we will actually keep everybody out of the pool, we raise our chlorine level from 3-5 where we keep it all the way up to 12 parts per million, we let that stay for 24 hours and make sure we kill anything that’s in the water,” said Gerry Simara, Certified Pool Operator.
Pool facilities in our area like the Augusta Aquatics Center are making sure they go the extra mile so that all pools are properly taken care of, while also extending some advice for parents.
“Always take a shower, rinse of.. we have showers at all of our sites,” said Idral Bowen, Aquatics Supervisor of the Augusta Aquatics Center.
“and it’s really to make sure the kids of Augusta have a fun place and a safe place to go,” said Gerry Simara, Certified Pool Operator for the City of Augusta
Again, this is just a warning. It’s important for parents to teach their children about not swallowing the water, because that’s the easiest way for the parasite to spread.