Columbus prepares for pool season, warns swimmers about waterborne illness

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Last year, central Ohio encountered the largest outbreak of crypto in our state with more than 1,000 cases.

The outbreak forced some pools to close early for the summer.

Columbus city pools started cleaning and prepping its pools back in April, making sure they are chemically balanced and safe for swimmers.

“The main chemical is chlorine or hyper-chloride,” said City of Columbus Aquatic Administrator, John Gloyd.

Every Columbus city pool is equipped with electronic readers, checking and adjusting chlorine levels.

“That is just telling us if the chlorine levels are adequate, that’s not going to tell us if there are any parasites in the water,” said Gloyd.

There is nothing to prevent crypto, once the water is infected there is a risk of the disease spreading.

City of Columbus health official say only you can prevent the disease from spreading to others.

Doctor Teresa Long says, “Chlorine kills germs, but a few can survive in chlorinated water for several hours to several days.  As a result, even the best maintained pools can spread illnesses.”

To reduce the spread of waterborne illnesses and diseases when heading to a spray fountain, pool or water park:

  • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea.
  • Don’t swallow pool water and avoid getting it in your mouth.
  • Shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers
  • Make sure kids take frequent bathroom breaks or change diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside.
  • Wash your hands carefully with soap and water before eating and swimming.

The first signs and symptoms of crypto usually appear within a week:

  • Dehydration.
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Stomach cramps or pain.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

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