Authors: Joshua Cohan
(WASHINGTON) -- Kids love wading pools and playgrounds with sprinklers, but so do parasites.
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links recreational water parks to a record 134 outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis in two years. That’s 13,966 cases of watery diarrhea.
Cryptosporidiosis, or crypto for short, is caused by cryptosporidium -- a microscopic parasite spread through feces. Pool and fountain water gets contaminated "when a person has a fecal incident in the water or fecal material washes off of a swimmer’s body,” the CDC report explains.
The parasite can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, dehydration and even nausea.
The outbreaks reported by the CDC occurred in 2007 and 2008 -- the most recent years for which statistics are available. The report reveals a 72 percent hike in crypto cases compared to the previous two-year period.
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