COLUMBIA FALLS – Before you and your family head to the pools and water parks this summer, you should be aware of the parasite Cryptosporidium — more commonly known as “Crypto.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are many different types of Cryptosporidium that infect animals and humans.
Recreational water use is the most common way to spread the parasite, which is a leading cause of waterborne disease among humans in the U.S.
Roger Elliott, Big Sky Waterpark general manager, says Crypto can be easily spread if a person who has had diarrhea and vomiting within the last two weeks enters the water.
“Cryptosporidium is a spore baring bug that is protected in environments like guts and swimming environments with chlorine, and the spore protects that bug from being harmed by regular amounts of chlorine,” said Elliott.
Elliott told MTN News that parents must have swim diapers on their children if they are going into the water. Often times crypto can spread if infants are not wearing the proper diapers.
“Young babies that don’t wear swim diapers can have accidents in the pool,” explained Elliott.
While Big Sky Waterpark closely monitors and sterilizes the water, it’s important you do your part. For example, avoid the water park if you have diarrhea, vomiting and always shower before entering the pool.
Elliott says in his 37 years he’s been at the water park, they have never had a Crypto outbreak, and they would like to keep it that way.
If you or your child is sick with any of these symptoms and still wants to have fun at Big Sky Waterpark, Elliott reminds people that the site has an antique carousel, a rock wall and go-carts.
-Reported by Maren Siu/MTN News