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State warns about pool illnesses

Jun 3, 2012 - Staff

The Wyoming Department of Health is reminding swimmers to avoid catching or spreading recreational water illnesses with many families looking forward to splashing in the waters of Wyoming's pools this summer.

Diseases such as cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are commonly passed on from person to person due to swimming in pools contaminated with the waterborne parasites, according to the health department.

Symptoms of these diseases in humans can occur days to weeks after exposure and include active diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea and loss of appetite.

"Basically, these illnesses are caused by germs found in the places where we swim so we want to prevent the spread of those germs," said Kelly Weidenbach, an epidemiologist with the Wyoming Department of Health, said in a statement.

"Most recreation water illnesses are caused by contamination with fecal matter. That's why we strongly encourage people to shower before entering pools or hot tubs," Weidenbach said.

Normal pool disinfection measures may not fully kill the parasites, which are also found in untreated water sources such as lakes, rivers and ponds, the department stated.

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