Local News

Teach kids pool is not a potty to prevent common parasite

Posted July 6, 2016 10:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 7, 2016 2:25 p.m. EDT

— Summer time means a lot of kids in the water, but it’s what’s in the water with them that can cause a problem.

Health officials said, in recent weeks, they have received as many as 10 reports that kids who spent time at a north Raleigh public pool were not feeling well. Medical reports of cryptosporidium, often called “crypto,” followed.

“It is not an extremely rare thing we see,” said Wake County Public Health Director, Dr. Sue Lynn Ledford. “It is a parasite shed out of the intestines of humans and animals.”

The Centers for Disease Control said crypto is spread through feces. Another person can be infected if they ingest the germs.

“Usually, what you are going to see is watery diarrhea and they are going to be sick. I mean, they are going to feel pretty bad,” Ledford said of symptoms.

Ledford said, in the worst cases, patients must get medical treatment for dehydration.

Health officials said crypto can surface at any pool, even in the best maintained facilities.

“A lot of people probably have it in their own home pools,” Ledford said.

Ledford said there are a few steps that can be taken to protect children from parasites. If a child has been sick, they should be kept away from the water and children need to be taught that the pool is not a potty.Children should also avoid drinking pool water.

The best way to protect a pool is by super-chlorinating it. Health officials said the North Raleigh pool they investigated has done that multiple times and there have been no new reports of the illness.