Tennessee prepared after CDC said outbreak linked to swimming on the rise

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Center for Disease Control issued a nationwide warning about an infection linked to swimming pools and splash pads a week before public pools open for Memorial Day weekend.

The infection is caused by a parasite called Cryptosporidium, or Crypto, and it’s transferred when someone swallows water that’s been contaminated by a sick person’s feces.

Chlorine helps control outbreaks but Crypto is not easily killed by it.

The Tennessee State Health Department said it is monitoring the situation closely.

“It does cause swimming pool outbreaks so that’s one reason why we want to be able to monitor, look for outbreaks and respond,” said Dr. John Dunn, the Deputy State Epidemiologist.

Dr. Dunn said the state has a water inspection program where public pools are inspected regularly. He has also checked Crypto rates on a weekly basis.

(Photo: WKRN)

“We’re monitoring it closely this year to see if we’re going to see an increase in Tennessee like the CDC has seen across the nation,” he said.

Metro Parks and Recreation said they are aware of the Crypto warning and are ready to respond.

“If a child has an accident the pool is shut down immediately,” said Carly Hough, Aquatics Director for the Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville. “Depending on what the scenario is, we’ll follow the Health Department regulations to a T. Unfortunately, sometimes that does require shutting down for the entire day.”

Hough said it’s important to be safe rather than sorry.

However, there are some things you can do to help keep your child and other children safe:

  • Teach your child not to drink pool water
  • Don’t let your child swim if he or she is sick
  • Don’t change your child’s diaper near the pool deck
  • If your child is wearing a diaper while swimming, make sure you change it regularly