PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the Fourth of July holiday just days away, plenty of folks are planning a trip to the pool. But a new warning from the CDC has some concerned about jumping in.
With the sun shining and the heat rising, the city’s public pools are often the place to cool off. Just ask Brennan Reichlin and her daughter, Olivia, who were enjoying the afternoon at the Marian Anderson Pool in Graduate Hospital.
“I got online and I was searching for pools that were open right now in South Philly and this one came up,” Reichlin said. “People were talking about how big this one is, how clean it is.”
And cleanliness is key, especially after a new warning from the Center for Disease Control, which says the fecal parasite, cryptosporidium, is on the rise, and can live in treated pool water for up to a week.
“There are diseases and all types of germs and as a parent, you don’t want your kid contracting anything,” Reichlin said.
The CDC says ingesting the parasite can cause “profuse, watery diarrhea for as long as three weeks.”
But at the city’s main public pools, there is a specific protocol to make sure all of the water stays clean. That includes full inspections and water testing by the Health Department at the beginning of the season, and random spot tests at all city pools throughout the rest of it.
The CDC says those who’ve had a stomach illness shouldn’t go in a pool for at least a week. All others should shower for at least one minute before, which appears to be happening at the pools Eyewitness News visited.
“Even the lifeguards, before you get into the pool, they’ll stop you and be like, ‘Get in the shower,'” Reichlin said.
“They tell us to wash off and make sure we have no fumes or lotions on us before we jump in,” one woman said.
It’s some easy to follow advice to ensure pools stay open and clean during the brutal heat.
“If this isn’t here, we’re going to see people cracking open fire hydrants,” one man said.
According to the CDC, young children pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are most likely to become ill when infected with cryptosporidium. Find out more about the CDC’s warning here.