It’s almost Memorial Day, and that means public pools will be open soon. Or maybe you have your own pool (or community pool) and it’s already available to you. And all that obviously means tons of lounging around on a unicorn raft (or whatever your raft of choice may be) with your friends, and drinking icy things, and having fun. But if you think swimming in a public pool will be all fun and games this summer, think again. As it turns out, swimming in a public pool could give you diarrhea.
According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, more and more people are contracting diarrhea from dirty pool water. But not just one and done diarrhea — some people are plagued with the poops for up to three weeks.
Yeah, we’re gonna hard pass on the public pools for now. Or at least be very, very careful.
New data from the CDC shows that reported cases of cryptosporidiosis, a parasite that causes “profuse, watery diarrhea” have tripled in the U.S. since 2004. The CDC notes that while people can contract the gnarly parasite from other people or animals, places like waterparks, hotel pools and other public pools can also spread the illness.
According to the CDC, symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, and more. Illness usually lasts one to two weeks, but it can be especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems. Sometimes the symptoms can even come and go for up to 30 days, depending on the person’s immune system and overall health.
The best way to avoid contracting cryptosporidiosis? Stay out of public pools. But if you just can’t help yourself, try your best to avoid getting the water in your mouth. And if you happen to contract cryptosporidiosis, the CDC recommendation is to drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Lounging strictly poolside seems like the best option right about now.