HAZELWOOD, MO (KPLR) - According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of reported cases of Cryptosporidium, or Crypto, are on the rise just as more families start heading to public pools and water parks as the summer swim season begins.
The CDC says 32 cases were reported nationwide in 2016. That was up from 16 cases reported in 2014. Crypto is a parasite that is typically found in fecal matter and spread when people swallow water that has been in contact with that fecal matter.
Local pools and aquatic centers like White Birch Bay in Hazelwood, frequently test water and chemical levels daily. County health officials also lab test water every week.
"As an aquatics manager we definitely don't want to see poop in the pool" said Travis Vancil, Hazelwood Aquatics Manager. "If we know it's happened, we can hit it before it's an issue" he said.
Vancil says the best way to try to prevent the spread of Crypto is to alert pool officials immediately if there is an accident in the water. He says that way, they can treat the water quickly to prevent Crypto from forming.
"We can treat it before it happens and we'd rather do that and take that time to do what we need to do versus somebody getting sick" he said.
The CDC advises people who have been sick with diarrhea to avoid public pools for two weeks and advise parents not to change their baby's diapers around public water.