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Parasite threat ‘crypto’ closes Wake Forest pool

Threat of parasite ‘crypto’ closes Wake Forest pool

he Wake County town has temporarily closed the Holding Park Aquatic Center while it tests for cryptosporidium, a waterborne parasite that can cause diarrhea. As reported by our media partner, ABC11 News.
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he Wake County town has temporarily closed the Holding Park Aquatic Center while it tests for cryptosporidium, a waterborne parasite that can cause diarrhea. As reported by our media partner, ABC11 News.

The town has temporarily closed Holding Park Aquatic Center while it checks for the highly contagious parasite cryptosporidium, which may have entered the water through an infected swimmer.

Wake County health officials have learned that a person who had contracted the parasite somewhere else swam at the Holding Park pool before showing any symptoms, a news release said.

Parks officials will hyper-chlorinate the pool Friday to disinfect any presence of the parasite, also known as crypto. The parks department also will clean surface spaces and supplies.

“We are treating this with the utmost precaution and transparency,” said Ruben Wall, the town’s parks, recreation and cultural resources director, in the news release. Officials did not say when the pool would reopen.

Cryptosporidium is the leading cause of waterborne disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A microscopic parasite, it causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramps and dehydration.

From 2009 through 2017, the most recent available data, there were 444 crypto outbreaks in the United States, with almost 7,500 people reported sick, 287 people hospitalized and one who died, according to the CDC.

Wake Forest officials said they will post safety tips at the aquatic center.

“To protect ourselves from crypto, the best thing we can do is not swallow the water we swim in,” Wall added. “We want to keep crypto out of the pool in the first place, and the way we do that is not to swim or let our children swim when they’re sick with diarrhea.”

Josh Shaffer covers Wake County and federal courts. He has been a reporter for The News & Observer since 2004 and previously wrote a column about unusual people and places.
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