Health

Public Pool Warning For Parents After Increase In Diarrhoea-Causing Bug

A diarrhoea-causing infection is on the rise in New South Wales, prompting health authorities to issue a public pool and splash park warning.

kids swimming

More than half of the 149 people infected this month with the nasty cryptosporidiosis bug in NSW were children younger than 10.

NSW Health is urging anyone who has had diarrhoea not to hop into a swimming pool for at least two weeks after they’ve recovered.

How Is This Bug Spread?

Director of Health Protection NSW, Dr Jeremy McAnulty said it’s not the first time the state has seen such an outbreak. The largest was in 1998 when more than 1000 people were struck down.

“Cryptosporidiosis is caused by a parasitic infection of the intestine that is easily spread in swimming pools and from person to person or, less commonly, via drinking contaminated water or handling infected animals,” Dr McAnulty said.

“The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting. There is no specific treatment for the condition and symptoms may last a few weeks in some people.”

toddler splash park

Here’s What You Should Do

These are the recommendations from NSW Health, to avoid contaminating pools and splash parks:

  • Don’t swim, or allow children with diarrhoea to swim, in a pool for at least two weeks after diarrhoea resolves
  • Take children on bathroom breaks often
  • Ensure children who are not toilet-trained wear waterproof tight-fitting pants over swimmers
  • Change nappies in a bathroom and not at the poolside as germs can spread to surfaces or objects in and around the pool and spread illness
  • Wash children thoroughly (especially on the bottom) with soap and water before going swimming
  • Wash hands with soap and water after changing a child’s nappy

Doctor McAnulty warned everyone to be vigilant.

“Only a very small proportion of people are ever diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis, as diagnosis requires a stool test through a doctor,” he said.

“So anyone with the symptoms should help protect other swimmers by staying out of pools for at least two weeks after the diarrhoea has stopped.”

Take a look at the latest warning on watching children around the water.

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written by:

Anita Butterworth

Anita is a journo from country Victoria who swapped the cut and thrust of television news for the joys of raising boys. When not writing about everything parenting, she's searching for the perfect cuppa and Instagram filter.