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Crypto: How to protect yourself from this parasite found in pools, lakes

Local News

There are ways to prevent infection from the parasite that can cause diarrhea and vomiting

COLUMBIANA CO., Ohio (WYTV) – The pools at the Davis Family YMCA in Boardman remain closed after a mother whose child attended summer camp there was concerned about a possible case of crypto — a parasite that causes diarrhea. A local doctor said there are ways to protect yourself and your children from getting it.

Family physician Dr. Mike Sevilla said it’s about being careful in the water. There could be common infections lurking in pools and lakes.

One of them is cryptosporidium, also known as “crypto.”

“It’s an infection of the stomach and GI tract that usually happens in water,” Sevilla said.

His first tip for preventing crypto is to wash your hands carefully with soap and water.

“The second tip I have for patients is never swallow the water in the pool or in the lake because it could be infected,” Sevilla said.

Along with diarrhea, symptoms of crypto include stomach cramps, vomiting or nausea.

Terry Shaffer, who manages Firestone Pool in Columbiana, said if you know your child is sick, don’t take them to a public pool.

“Also, if you do find out they got sick at the pool, please call the pool and let them know what they had exactly, and the day they were there and as much information as you can.”

Shaffer said the Columbiana County Health Department checks his pool four times each summer to make sure everything is sanitized, but accidents do happen.

“We just ask parents or responsible adults just to let us know so we can get it cleaned up and sanitized and safe swimming for everybody.”

Even though that possible case of crypto at the Boardman Y was never confirmed, they’re doing a super chlorination of all five pools as a precaution to kill any possible parasites.

Tuesday evening, The Y sent out a notification saying the outdoor pools will reopen Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. for lap swimming and at 10 a.m. for recreational use.

The indoor pools will remain closed until chlorine levels drop to safe levels. All activities are canceled until it reopens.

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