The city of Durham says it gave its swimming pools an extra shot of chlorine over the weekend to prevent the spread of a micro-parasite that can cause nasty intestinal problems.
Cryptosporidium is thought to have cropped up in pools in neighboring Wake County, causing two dozen cases of the gastro-intestinal illness cryptosporidiosis. Wake County officials are urging managers of all 1,160 public and neighborhood pools to hyper-chlorinate their water to ensure the parasites aren’t living there.
The Durham Parks and Recreation department says it hyper-chlorinated all five of the city’s pools and spraygrounds over a 12-hour period when they were closed overnight Saturday. City officials say the move was a precautionary measure; there have been no cases of cryptosporidiosis reported among swimmers in the city’s pools.
Cryptosporidium or crypto is a parasite that can be transmitted from one swimmer to another from the residual fecal matter of a person who has been infected. The parasite is resistant to the levels of chlorine normally found in pools. Symptoms, which include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, fever, nausea, fatigue and vomiting, can begin two to 10 days after infection and can last one to two weeks.