By Jennifer McGraw

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) – Public health officials are issuing a word of warning to residents this weekend after an outbreak of microscopic parasites in the water.

“I tell them, everybody’s bodies in it so don’t put it in their mouth,” said Ligia Tran with her kids at a public pool in Lodi.

Now dozens of kids and adults have been sickened by swallowing contaminated pool, lake, and river water.

“It’s a parasite crypto short for cryptosporidium,” said Dr. Alvaro Garza, public health officer.

Garza said many regions across the US are experiencing an increase in outbreaks.

“It’s been around just we’re finding it more recently,” he said.

Last year there was only one confirmed case compared to this year with almost 60 people suffering from the symptoms.

The most common way to get it is swallowing contaminated recreational water, but then the problem is that it’s contagious.

“Those of us who might have the diarrhea from the crypto and don’t wash their hands adequately and then go prepares food and serve others, then it continues, too,” Garza said.

Many public pools in the region were hyper-chlorinated to kill the germs, but health officials say it can even be from your own pool and in public fountains.

“It’s been pretty much out all summer long,” said Janet Henry of Stockton.

With a scorching hot summer, Henry used to bring her grandkids to the Weber Point fountains, but even those have been shut down forcing folks to improvise.

“We come out here almost every day to cool off. When you don’t have air conditioning you almost have to be creative,” she said.

The key is to keep clean, wash your hands, and don’t swallow anything, but drinking water.


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