Swimming is one of the best ways to cool down in summer months—but recreational waters can be a haven for scary germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a parasite called Cryptosporidium (Crypto) is ruining summer fun across the country. This is why it’s imperative to stock up on a powerful disinfectant spray for sports equipment and swimming gear.
Crypto is a microscopic, fecal parasite that causes cryptosporidiosis, the leading cause of waterborne disease in the country. It takes the form of a severe, watery diarrhea that may last up to three weeks. Other symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and weight loss.
Crypto is commonly spread via water, both drinking and recreational, which includes pools, hot tubs and water parks. Children often spread it by swimming too soon after experiencing diarrhea. It is also spread via contact with infected cattle and through childcare settings.
From 2009 to 2017, the CDC counted 7,465 cases in 40 states across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. More than half of those cases occurred in The Great Lake states including New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The CDC states that outbreaks are increasing approximately 13 percent per year.
While crypto is not typically fatal—only one death has been reported—it’s very dangerous for those with weakened immune systems. It can lead to life-threatening illnesses among those with compromised immunity, including malnutrition and wasting.
Crypto is not killed by chlorine—it can survive in chlorinated water for up to a week
Here are a few ways experts recommend protecting yourself from this nasty parasite.
• Avoid swimming when suffering from diarrhea
• Avoid swimming for at least two weeks after diarrhea subsides
• Do not swallow water from a pool or hot tub
• Check inspection scores on local or state health department’s websites before hitting a pool
• Spray down flip flops and swimming gear with a potent disinfectant spray for sports equipment
• Shower before swimming
• Shower immediately after swimming
Click through to learn more about Clear Gear, the most powerful disinfectant spray for sports equipment and swimming gear.