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Recreation SA urges swimmers to practice good personal hygiene amid record Cryptosporidium levels

Recreation SA urges swimmers to practice good personal hygiene amid record Cryptosporidium levels
January 19, 2016

With reports of Cryptosporidium at record levels this summer, Recreation SA has urged South Australian to practice good personal hygiene if they are unwell with gastroenteritis.

Recreation SA Executive Officer, Rebecca Deans, said while reports of Cryptosporidium were at record levels this summer, public swimming pools in the state remain a safe and enjoyable destination.

With Cryptosporidium one of Australia’s leading causes of water-related illnesses, Deans explains "the SA Aquatic industry is proactive in ensuring recreational public pools stay clean all summer so the public can enjoy a swim whenever they like.

“However we do know Crypto can be traced to recreational swimming pools if used by people infected with the parasite, as the parasite can survive for days even in properly chlorinated pools.

“Despite the SA aquatic industry adhering to best-practice guidelines, if an unwell person or someone who has been unwell within the previous two weeks uses a pool, there is a risk they could spread the parasite to others.

“Therefore it’s important for people to act responsibly if they are struck by gastroenteritis, so that everybody can enjoy the hot summer, free from illness."

Deans said SA Health figures showed a majority of Cryptosporidium reports in 2014 were not related to public swimming pools, with 60% of cases linked to other causes including contact with livestock, petting zoos and child care centres.

Image: Cryptosporidium bug

Deans commented "we know this month’s record-breaking heat is set to continue throughout summer, and we all want to keep enjoying the facilities at our local pools, so Recreation SA and pool operators are urging you to think of others and practice good personal hygiene.”

To date, only two South Australian pools have been advised to undertake a precautionary decontamination this summer, with no facilities advised to close.

SA Health advises anyone with diarrhoea to stay away from swimming in pools – private or public – for two weeks.

Deans added "whether you are swimming in a public pool, or in your own pool or at a friend’s, please remember a few basic guidelines and everybody can continue to have fun in a safe environment.”

Deans said Recreation SA member swimming pools continue to work positively with SA Government agencies to ensure minimal risk and disruption to patrons if the parasite is linked to its swimming centre.

In 2014, there were 201 Cryptosporidium notifications in South Australia.

Recreation SA is the state’s peak aquatics industry body, representing 45 South Australian swimming centres. 

It has recently confirmed dates for its 2016 recreation conference, being held in conjunction with Parks and Leisure Australia.

The event, which will also see the presentation of the 2016 Recreation SA awards is being held at Next Generation, Memorial Drive, North Adelaide on 11th April.

Click here for details in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

23rd December 2015 - POOL MANAGERS NEED TO BE AWARE OF WATERBORNE BUGS THROUGH SUMMER

20th December 2014 - STUDY FINDS TOXIC BYPRODUCT FROM URINATING IN SWIMMING POOLS

3rd April 2014 - WATER AT SOUTH AUSTRALIAN STATE AQUATIC CENTRE LIKE ‘DIVING IN SILK SHEETS’

15th December 2013 - VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ISSUES SUMMER REMINDER ON HEALTHY SWIMMING POOL HABITS

26th March 2013 - VICTORIA RECORDS FOUR-FOLD INCREASE IN CRYPTOSPORIDIUM IN PUBLIC POOLS

4th November 2013 - PARENTS VALUE SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY LESSONS ABOVE OTHER OUT-OF-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES


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