As you enjoy your long holiday weekend lounging by the pool, be aware that if you’re at a public pool there may be a parasite hiding in the water. The Centers for Disease Control has warned 41 states, including New Jersey, about a parasite called cryptosporidium, or crypto, that has some pretty nasty effects.

The parasite can cause weeks long diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and vomiting. It’s hardly ever fatal, but it is still pretty gross. According to The Patch, the parasite is contained in the fecal matter of humans and animals and gets shared when people swallow the water. The parasite is so hearty that it can last up to seven days even in chlorinated water.

According to the New Jersey Department of Health, again reported by the Patch, the number of cases of crypto has tripled since 2011. Although contamination via water is the most common way of contracting the parasite, it can also be spread by contact with animals, through food, and in day care settings. The CDC is warning people not to use swimming pools as communal toilets and not to go swimming within 24 hours of having diarrhea. Enjoy the pool!

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