After more than 1,300 illnesses, health officials Tuesday extended a ban on toddlers in public swimming pools to try to stop cryptosporidium, a parasite that can cause severe diarrhea. The ban on kids under 5 and anyone in diapers will remain through Sept. 25 at pools at parks, schools, apartments, hotels and amusement parks. Since Aug. 28, when restrictions were first announced, cases continue to be reported in "substantial numbers," the Utah Department of Health said. "Public-health officials have been unable to determine whether the restrictions have been effective in controlling the outbreak," the department said. Crypto is found in soil, food, water or surfaces that have been contaminated with human or animal feces. Diapers in a swimming pool are a common way to spread it, but they are not the only way. "If you have a family member who is sick, it's important to practice good hygiene so the illness is not spread from person to person," said Ilene Risk, a manager at the Salt Lake Valley Health Department. Utah typically sees about 30 cases of crypto a year. So far this year: 1,302. There have been 492 cases in Salt Lake County and 454 in Utah County, said Rich Lakin, state manager of disease investigation.
Steve - this is a HUGE issue with pools everywhere. It is crazy to think that bans are being implemented with kids under 5, especially those who are not potty-trained. However, Cryptosporidium are starting to become chlorine-resistant and can create violent symptoms when we get sick.