HealthDay News — Outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis have doubled in recent years at swimming pools and water playgrounds in the United States, according to research published in the May 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

At least 32 outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis were reported in 2016, compared with 16 outbreaks in 2014, according to the CDC.

The report cited some state-specific outbreaks: Ohio experienced a nearly 5-fold increase in cryptosporidiosis cases in 2016, with 1,940 reported cases compared with an average 399 cases during the prior 4 years. One outbreak impacted members of a university sports team after they visited a water park. Arizona reported 352 lab-confirmed cases between July and October 2016, compared with a maximum 62 cases detected annually in years prior. These included 36 players and family members associated with a Little League team who became ill after visiting a Maricopa County aquatic facility. 

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A second report in the MMWR noted another potential hazard of public pools — inhalation of toxic chlorine gas. Between 2008 and 2015, mishandled pool chemicals harmed over 150 people in California in nine separate incidents, according to the report. Symptoms of inhaled chlorine gas included vomiting, coughing, and eye irritation.

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