How To Avoid Waterborne Illnesses While Swimming

Summer is in full swing and Independence Day is right around the corner. With temperatures in the Valley of the Sun already hitting triple digits, it’s no surprise that one of the most popular outdoor activities for families this time of the year is swimming. Although swimming is still safe in most recreational water around the country, health officials are still reminding people to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from parasites that can be transmitted in untreated water, like lakes, rivers, etc., and even treated water like swimming pools, water playgrounds, etc.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report indicating that cryptosporidiosis outbreaks peak during the summer months of July and August. The report also expressed that between 2009 and 2017, there were 444 cryptosporidiosis outbreaks reported in 40 states and Puerto Rico resulting in 7,465 people falling ill. The parasite is rarely fatal, there has been one death reported since 2009, but 287 people were hospitalized between 2009 and 2017 per CDC statistics.

“The number of treated recreational water-associated outbreaks caused by cryptosporidium drives the summer seasonal peak in both waterborne cryptosporidiosis outbreaks and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks overall,” according to a statement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are a number of preventative measures that people can take to lower the risk of spreading and contracting parasites like this.

-Don’t swallow pool water
-Shower before and after entering the pool.
-Not letting your kids swim if they have diarrhea
-Keep sick children away from the pool