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Wellington region warning over cryptosporidiosis and swimming facilities

Wellington region warning over cryptosporidiosis and swimming facilities
March 12, 2018

Following an increased number of cryptosporidium illness being reported in the Wellington region over recent weeks, Regional Public Health and Kāpiti Coast District Council are reminding people not to swim in public pools or attend splash pads for at least two weeks following an illnesses with diarrhoea and stomach upset.

Commenting on the warning, Dr Jill McKenzie, Regional Public Health Medical Officer explains “many people are not aware that swimming too soon after being sick with diarrhoea is a risk for passing infection onto other pool and splash pad users.

“People can still pass bugs like cryptosporidium onto others for many days after no longer feeling ill.”

Dr McKenzie added that swimming pools in the region have signage reminding people not to swim after being sick and to shower before entering the pool.

Highlighting that the illness is most common in the under five years age group she adds that it is important to ensure tight fitting togs are worn by this group.

Most of the recent cases reported to Regional Public Health have had contact with the Raumati splash pad around Wellington Anniversary weekend. While it was not confirmed that the splash pad was the source of the outbreak, Kāpiti Coast District Council have closed and treated the splash pad as a precaution to safeguard other users. Regional Public Health is working with pool managers across the region to ensure systems are in place to reduce the risk of spread in other facilities.

Cryptosporidium (picutred below) is a parasite which lives in the intestines of people, birds and animals. It produces cysts (eggs) that can survive in the environment for a long time. When a person, bird or animal is infected they pass out the cysts in their faeces.

Cryptosporidium is most often spread by hands contaminated with faeces during toilet use or nappy changing. From hands it can spread to surfaces, toys, food and water. It also spreads in shared water such as swimming pools. When the cysts are swallowed the person then becomes infected.

Symptoms include large amounts of watery diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Lack of appetite, weight loss, fever, nausea and vomiting sometimes occur. The illness is managed by ensuring good fluid intake with improvement in two to four days, although symptoms can last up to two weeks. If symptoms persist a doctor can arrange for testing to confirm the cause of the illness.

The best way to prevent cryptosporidiosis infection is to always practice good hand washing and drying after using the toilet, changing nappies and before preparing or eating food. Stay home from school or childcare centres until 48 hours after the diarrhoea stops. And remember not to share bugs by avoiding swimming pools and splash pads while sick and for two weeks after symptoms stop.

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14th May 2017 - BABY SWIM NAPPIES ‘LIKE A POO TEA BAG IN WATER’

2nd March 2017 - CANADIAN RESEARCHERS FIND SIGNIFICANT LEVELS OF URINE IN PUBLIC POOLS 

25th January 2017 - NSW HEALTH RELEASES NEW RESOURCES IN ‘CLEAN POOLS FOR HEALTHY SWIMMING’ CAMPAIGN

3rd May 2016 - SURVEYS SHOW KĀPITI SWIMMING POOLS REMAIN POPULAR WITH RESIDENTS

23rd February 2016 - FITNESS CLUBS FACE ONGOING HYGIENE BATTLE

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

26th March 2015 - SERIAL DEFECATOR CAUSES WEEKLY CLOSURES OF SOUTHLAND AQUATIC CENTRE

22nd September 2013 - KAPITI LOCALS LOVE THE COASTLANDS AQUATIC CENTRE 


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We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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