Nasty Waterborne Parasite Returns To Treasure Valley

Aug 10, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to stay in the water, cryptosporidiosis is back.

Idaho’s Central District Health Department reports there are 19 cases of the perennial parasite known as crypto for short. Crypto is transmitted by fecal matter through water. People who have it get sick with fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and other digestive symptoms.

Nineteen cases is more than past summers but it pales to the nearly 300 people who got the parasite in 2007. Most of those cases were linked to splash parks in Meridian.

A spokesman for Central District Health says these new cases came from swimming pools in Boise and Meridian but, Dave Fotsch says the department won't identify which pools.

“Since they’ve been cooperative with us, we’ve chosen not to identify those pools," Fotsch says.  "They have really worked with us, and have been extremely responsive, so we want to give them credit for that and not cast aspersions on them.”

Fotsch says all the pools where crypto has been found have taken the necessary steps to eliminate the parasite. He says these pools are now safe.

But Fotsch says any place where people play in the water can become contaminated. He cautions people who've had diarrhea to avoid all recreational waters for more than two weeks after symptoms go away and to keep pool water out of your mouth.   

Click here for more information on avoiding crypto and other waterborne illness.