Dallas health officials not worried about crypto spread after pool cleaned

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 1 at 7:45 PM

DALLAS - A North Texas pool was shut down for the day on Tuesday over potential concerns about the dangerous cryptosporidium parasite.

Denton County health authorities confirm an infected child who lives in their county swam in the Jewish Community Center of Dallas pool last week.

The pool was shut down as a precaution for hyper-chlorination, which is supposed to kill the parasite. The pool was reopened Wednesday.

The child is now recovered, but warnings were sent home to JCC members and families of children who attend summer day camps at the center. Health authorities do not know where the child was originally infected.

Health investigators say the child went swimming July 25 at the JCC's pool. And while he was not sick at the time, he might have been shedding the parasite into the water without knowing it.

Health experts say anyone who used the pool since July 25 should be aware if they develop signs of crypto infection in the next few days.

"It's going to be basically upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea," said Dr. Christopher Perkins, medical director and health authority of Dallas County. "It's going to be gastro-intestinal."

Dallas County health officials say so far, there have been no other cases reported.

Dallas County is not involved in the investigation, but did notify the City of Dallas of the case, so code compliance could insure the pool was properly maintained and disinfected.

Cryptosporidium sickened thousands across North Texas in 2008, when people who swam in a recreational lake then spread the infection to public pools and spraygrounds.

After a News 8 Investigation, Texas laws changed, requiring better monitoring and maintenance to protect people swimming in public places from crypto. Before that time, public spraygrounds were not required to follow the same regular disinfection and cleaning as public pools.

North Texas health experts are monitoring the current crypto situation, but are not concerned at this point about a widespread outbreak.

Experts say that anyone who has any gastro-intestinal symptoms should stay out of public water while they're sick and for at least two weeks afterward.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

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