WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Many Americans will be spending time by the pool during this holiday week. But before you jump you in, federal health officials are warning cases involving a chlorine-tolerant parasite are on the rise.
According to the CDC, the number of outbreaks involving cryptosporidium, or “crypto,” has increased 13% each year since 2009.
That parasite can cause diarrhea that could last for several weeks and is spread through the feces of infected people or animals.
People can get sick after they swallow the parasite in contaminated water or food.
Among the 444 cases studied, more than a third were linked to pools and water playgrounds.
Experts say you should not swim if you have diarrhea and don’t swallow pool water.