Recreational water facilities (pools, spas, splash pads, etc.) in several cities in the southern part of the state, as well as some in northern Iowa, have recently been closed following the discovery of Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto), a diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has put together some information on things the public can do to prevent the spread of Crypto, as well as other RWIs: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/waterborne/prevention/recreational.html
Tips for all swimmers:
· Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
· Wash hands with soap and water after going to the restroom.
· Shower before you get in the water.
· Don’t swallow the water.
Additional Tips for parents with young children:
· Take children on frequent bathroom breaks when swimming – waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean that it’s already too late!
· Change diapers in changing rooms, not poolside or on the beach. Wash your hands and the child’s hands after changing diapers.
MDH has also put together a quick fact sheet for recreational water employees and what they can do to prevent contamination of Crypto and other RWIs: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/waterborne/prevention/recstafffs.html
If you discover the presence of Crypto, or any other RWI, at your facility, close it and contact the Minnesota Department of Health immediately. Patron complaints of illness may also be reported to the MDH Foodborne and Waterborne Illness Hotline at 1-877-366-3455, and MDH will contact the appropriate health department for follow-up.