Pool facilities at the Delaware Community Center YMCA were closed for about two days this week as the Delaware General Health District was responding to the outbreak of a diarrhoeal disease.
There are 209 confirmed and probable cases of cryptosporidiosis, or crypto, in Columbus and Franklin and Delaware counties, according to Traci Whittaker, spokeswoman for the Delaware General Health District.
Last week in Delaware County, there were 11 cases of crypto, a germ that can cause diarrhea and is found in the waste of an infected person. It can be spread by swallowing contaminated water and from human-to-human contact. There are now 20 cases in Delaware County, including 15 confirmed cases.
The YMCA shut down its leisure and lap pools and the Jack Florance Pool at Mingo Park to increase the chlorination levels to about 30 parts per million, according to Jeremy Byers, associate executive director of the Delaware YMCA, during Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting.
“The health department said that all pools in Delaware County needed to raise their chlorine levels for the crypto that’s going around,” he said. “They said you need to do this sooner than later.”
Byers said the measures are all preventive as there were no reports of crypto at the YMCA pools.
Symptoms of the illness, which can last two weeks, include watery diarrhea with abdominal pain and cramping, which can be accompanied by dehydration, weight loss, fever, nausea and vomiting. Those infected can continue to spread the disease for several weeks after diarrhea subsides.
Public health officials are calling for safety measures residents can take to reduce the spread of the illness.
Public officials recommend the following safety measures to reduce the spread of the illness when heading to a spray fountain, pool or water park:
• Do not swim when you have diarrhea and for two weeks after you have recovered.
• Do not relieve yourself in the water.
• Take a shower/bathe before going in the water.
• Wash hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before eating.
• Change diapers in a bathroom and not by a pool.
• Take children on frequent bathroom breaks and check diapers often.
• Avoid swallowing any water and keep it out of your mouth.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.
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