Waterborne illnesses on the rise in Wyoming

May 24, 2013

The Wyoming Department of Health is warning people to take precautions against diseases like giardia and “crypto” when swimming in pools or other bodies of water.

Health Department Spokesperson Kim Deti says those diseases are spread when fecal matter gets into the water and can cause nausea and other stomach problems. She says last year, there were 35 cases of crypto in Wyoming.

“And we’ve been seeing an increase in our rate here since 2006,” Deti said. “National rates have gone up too, but our rate is quite a bit higher than the national rate.”

Deti declined to say why that is. She urges swimmers to shower before entering the water, and not to swim when ill, in order to prevent diseases from spreading.

“People will assume that in a swimming pool, the chlorine will do the job of taking care of all of those diseases,” Deti said. “And it’s certainly an important measure, but it doesn’t necessarily always fully kill the parasites.”