In this podcast, CDC's Dr. Michael Beach discusses the superbug, Cryptosporidium, a common cause of recreational water illness. Created: 5/18/2009 by National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED).
Date Released: 5/18/2009. Series Name: CDC Featured Podcasts.
[Lifeguard Bobby] Ha-ha. I'm sorry about that. Let me start over. Hi, I'm Lifeguard Bobby. Parents, did you know that swimming-related illnesses are on the rise? Well, with the help of the CDC's healthy swimming experts, we'd like to show you how to keep your family healthy and safe when they get 'in the swim of things.'
Roll projector please. A seemingly harmless scene, right? Ha-ha, well that's where you’re wrong. Because in recent years, there has been an increase in [pause] Recreational Water Illnesses or RWIs for short.
First up is Dr. Michael Beach, who's going to be telling us the most common cause of RWIs, called Cryptocridium ..uh…Crytochurillium..uh
[Dr. Michael Beach] That’s Cryptosporidium, Bobby. But, first let's remind people that RWIs can be spread by swallowing, breathing, having contact with contaminated water in places like swimming pools, water parks, interactive fountains, even lakes, rivers and the ocean. And Cryptosporidium, let's call it Crypto for short, is one of the most common RWIs, causing symptoms like diarrhea. In public pools in the United States, we use chemicals, like chlorine, to kill germs and protect our health. But these same chemicals kill different germs faster than others. So superbugs like Crypto can survive for days in chlorinated water. You share the water with everyone. If you're ill with diarrhea and you get in the pool, you can easily contaminate the water and spread illness to others. So play it safe. Stay out of the water if you're ill with diarrhea.
[Lifeguard Bobby] Wow! That sounds pretty serious. But have no fear because Michele Hlavsa is here to give us some good 4-1-1 about how to keep our swim time both fun and germ free.
[Michele Hlavsa] Thanks, Bobby. Parents, just as Michael said, Crypto can spread in the water in which we swim and play. But you can take just a few simple steps to protect you, your children, and other swimmers from RWIs. Don't swim when you’re ill with diarrhea. Don't swallow the water you swim in. Shower or bathe with soap before you get in the water. Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Take children on bathroom breaks. And finally, change diapers in the bathroom or diaper changing area, and not at the poolside.
[Lifeguard Bobby] Well, I've just finished my shower and I guess I'm ready for a dip. But before I go, I'd like you all to remember that healthy swimming is no accident. And the best way to keep yourself, your children, and others safe from RWIs is to keep germs out of the water in the first place. This is Lifeguard Bobby wishing you a safe and 'funtastic' time whenever you get 'in the swim of things.' Look out; here I come!
[Announcer]For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO, 24/7.