Three cases of Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto), a disease caused by the protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum, were reported to the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) this week. The department is working closely with pool operators in Overland Park and Shawnee for cautionary measures to close and/or treat those known swimming pools with which infected individuals had contact.
The Overland Park affected swimming pool is privately owned and managed by a homes’ association. The City of Overland Park has posted notice that the pool is closed.
The City of Shawnee has taken proactive steps in order to protect swimmers at pools that are owned and operated by the City. This includes performing a shock treatment to the pool which completely clears any potential danger from the water. JCDHE is working with the pool operator on the treatment of the affected privately owned homes’ association pool.
JCDHE has determined that there is no public health risk at Shawnee's city pools and that they are safe for the public to continue to visit and swim in.
“At this time, we have three confirmed cases and are tracking a few more possible cases in the community,” said Lougene Marsh, JCDHE director. “We encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently and ensure their children take frequent breaks from the pool to prevent accidents.”
Symptoms of Crypto include:
- Severe, watery diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
Crypto is spread by contact with the stool of infected persons or animals, consumption of contaminated food or water, and by person-to-person or animal-to-animal contact.
- Symptoms usually develop 2 to 10 days after exposure and may last from 1 to 2 weeks.
- Cryptosporidium can still be spread for two weeks after symptoms have subsided.
- Persons with diarrhea should not swim for 2 weeks after symptoms stop. Crypto is chlorine-resistant and can live for days in chlorine treated water.
The most important prevention measure is careful hand washing with soap and warm running water. Alcohol-based hand gels and sanitizers do not kill Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”) so they do not help stop the spread of Crypto. Avoid swallowing pool water, change diapers often and in a restroom and make time for frequent restroom breaks for children to prevent the spread of illness.
If a member of your household develops any of these symptoms or you have questions, contact your healthcare provider or visit http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/rwi/illnesses/cryptosporidium.html