Marion County agency reports 18 cases of intestinal illness

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP / NBC) - Health officials in Indianapolis say a hard-to-kill intestinal parasite is showing up in swimming pools in Indiana's most-populous county.

PHOTO: Kids swimming in a pool, Photo Date: 12/24/2010

The Marion County Public Health Department says it's confirmed 18 cases of cryptosporidiosis so far this year. That's 10 more than at this time last year.

The Indianapolis Star reports the parasite that's often referred to as "crypto" spreads through the feces of infected humans or animals, and can survive up to 10 days in chlorinated pool water.

"The problem with cryptosporidium is that it's very resistant to chlorine, and it can hang out even with what we consider normal or good chlorine levels," Peyton Manning Children's Hospital Dr. Christopher Belcher said.

People infected with the parasite experience diarrhea and often other symptoms, including stomach cramps or pain, dehydration and nausea.

"The best thing everybody can do to keep everybody safe is to make sure that if you're sick, you don't swim," Marion County Health Department's Jason Ravenscroft said. "Don't get in the pool if you have diarrhea. In fact, crypto can be spreading from two weeks after."

Word of the Marion County cases comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said crypto outbreaks nationwide have increased by an average of 13% each year from 2009 to 2017.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

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7/8/2019 5:46:48 AM (GMT -4:00)