CDC warns of “Crypto” parasite in pools – how to stay safe swimming this Memorial Day

WEST MANCHESTER TWP., YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- With Memorial Day on your mind, you may be considering taking a dip in the pool. If you are, health experts urge you to take the appropriate measures to avoid getting sick. When you hop in a pool like this, you're sharing the water and all the germs which may be in it.

There were 32 outbreaks of the parasite Cryptosporidium, "Crypto", in 2016, double the findings of 2014. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there's nothing to worry about so long as you take the appropriate steps to stay water safe.

Pool owners are prepping for opening weekend, testing the water and skimming, so pools are prepped and ready for swimmers to have some fun and to stay safe.

"That's the whole goal - safety," said Russ Jacobs, the owner of the Green Valley Swimming Pool and Sports Club, Inc. His pools will be open until Labor Day.

It's important to know, before you hop in the water, certain parasites like "Crypto" can be spread in the water through contact with infected fecal matter.

However, the CDC says prevention is simple: change diapers away from the swimming area and wash up before and after hopping in the pool.

"We always take precaution. We take showers as soon as we get out of the pool," said Melissa Lengrand of Dover, York County.

And don't let your kids use the pool as a potty.

"When you're there for hours on end, and you don't see no other children getting out to go to the bathroom, you start to wonder," said Janine Lengrand.

"Wash - I mean come to the pool clean, and if you're sick, don't come to the pool. It's pretty standard stuff," added Jacobs.

It's also important to keep the water in the pool and out of your child's mouth. Swallowing "Crypto" contaminated water is enough to get you sick with diarrhea for up to two weeks which no pool owner or lifeguard wants to see.

"At the end of the year if nobody got hurt, it's a good year. If everybody had fun, that's an even better year," said Jacobs.

The CDC is also warning to keep your kids warm. Shivering and purple lips are a warning sign you may want to get your child out of the pool so everyone has a safe and happy holiday.