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Health Officials Eye Public Pools As Possible Source Of Crypto Outbreak

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Local health officials are worried about a three-fold increase in the number of people diagnosed with Cryptosporidium, an illness that causes abdominal and intestinal distress.  

More than 100 cases have been reported this year in Franklin and Delaware Counties.  That's more than the previous three years combined.

The disease is usually spread when an infected person enters a public swimming pool. 

“Cryptosporidiosis, or Crypto, is actually a diarrheal illness that’s caused by a parasite that’s transmitted either through ill individuals or animals,” says Radhika Iyer, a Franklin County epidemiologist.

“So the spread usually occurs when somebody swallows water that’s contaminated from this parasite and then you end up getting sick from it,” says Iyer.

Iyer says chlorine cannot kill the parasite. She says healthy individuals often recover without medical attention. 

Officials urge anyone with crypto symptoms not to swim in public pools or visit water parks.