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Another Diarrhea Disease Spreads in Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Iowans are just getting past Cyclospora, but another illness is starting to make its way across Iowa.

Cases of Cryptosporidiosis are growing across the state right now, but there are things you can do to avoid it.

So far, at least 272 people have gotten sick with the parasite, since the beginning of June.

Thats compared to 328 cases through all of last year.

Many flock to pools during summer, but sometimes the water can have hidden dangers.

"The thing with cryptosporidiosis is you may be sick for a few days and then you start to get better and then you think oh I'm over it, but then you get sick again, said Heather Meador, public  health nurse for Linn County Public Health.

It's called crypto for short and its caused by a parasite found in swimming pools and some lakes and rivers.

Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and low grade fever.

So far, cases have been reported in nearly half of Iowas 99 counties.

Polk County has the most with 106.

Linn county ranks third with 16 reported cases.

Cedar Rapids city officials say they try their best to make sure people who visit public pools are safe.

"We keep our chlorine levels at optimum right around 3.4 it can higher. It can go as high as eight, said Cedar Rapid Aquatic Supervisor Carolyn Hamilton.

But chlorine doesn't kill crypto right away.

In fact it takes at least seven days before crypto is killed off. 

This is why Hamilton says people need to use the showers before going into pools.

"If you have diarrhea please do not swim in the pools that's the first thing. Until two weeks after your last episode, she said

Most people get well 14-30 days after the infection without taking any medications.

Still it's best to see your doctor if you think you might be infected.

 
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