Healthy Swimming and Pool Safety

Learn what you can do to keep you and others safe in the pool.

Boy SwimmingWhat is Crypto?

Crypto is a germ that causes diarrhea. Crypto, short for Cryptosporidium, is found in infected people's stool and cannot be seen by the naked eye. This germ is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive for long periods of time and makes it resistant to chlorine disinfection found in pools.

How is Crypto spread at aquatics facilities?

Crypto is not spread by contact with blood. Crypto can be spread:

  • By swallowing recreational water contaminated with Crypto. Recreational water is water from swimming pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams that can be contaminated with sewage or feces from humans or animals.
  • By putting something in your mouth or accidentally swallowing something that has come in contact with the stool of a person or animal infected with Crypto.
  • By swallowing Crypto picked up from surfaces (such as lounge chairs, picnic tables, bathroom fixtures, changing tables) contaminated with stool from an infected person.



What can I do to protect myself?

Healthy Swimming behaviors are needed to protect you and your kids from recreational water illnesses (RWIs) and will help stop germs from getting in the pool in the first place.

Here are six "PLEASE" that promote Healthy Swimming:

  1. Please don't swim when you have diarrhea or within two weeks of having diarrhea.
  2. Please don't swallow the pool water.
  3. Please practice good hygiene. Take a shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  4. Please take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
  5. Please change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside.
  6. Please wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming.


Content Source:
Division of Parasitic Diseases
Page last modified: February 12, 2008

City of Mesa Crypto Brochure - English
City of Mesa Crypto Brochure - Spanish



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Darla Armfield
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Aimee Manis
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