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CDPH Promotes Healthy Swimming During National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week May 19-25

Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that 62 percent of outbreaks of recreational water illnesses are related to Cryptosporidium (Crypto), a chlorine-resistant pathogen introduced into pools by swimmers who are ill with diarrhea and spread to other swimmers when they swallow the contaminated water.

These outbreaks underscore the continuing need to educate the public about recreational water illness prevention to ensure a healthy swimming experience.

During National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week May 19-25, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and CDC are highlighting the importance of healthy swimming behaviors for preventing recreational water illnesses. Even healthy swimmers can get sick from recreational water illnesses, but the young, elderly, pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals are especially at risk.

The following are specific actions the public can take to reduce the risk of recreational water illnesses:

  • Do not swim when you have diarrhea.
  • Do not swallow pool water or get water in your mouth.
  • Shower before swimming (children, too).
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks or change diapers often.
  • Change children's diapers in a bathroom, not at poolside.

Recreational water venues are important sites for exercise and leisure. To make this summer a healthy swimming experience, CDPH and CDC urge swimmers to continue to enjoy swimming, but only after adopting healthy swimming behaviors to reduce the risk of recreational water illnesses.

For more information about Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week and healthy swimming, visit

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