MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)-- Experts with the Centers for Disease Control warn Cryptosporidium outbreaks are on the rise across the nation.

The bacteria lurks in water contaminated by feces.

Crypto is  the leading cause of waterborne disease according to the CDC.

The number of reported outbreaks has increased 13% every year in the U.S.

Swallowing water in pools and water playgrounds were among the leading causes of outbreaks.

It doesn't take much for crypto to spread, but it is tough to kill.

"Chlorine may or may not get rid of the disease in the swimming pools or in the water."

The bacteria, which causes diarrhea, can sicken people for as long as three weeks.

You can become symptomatic anywhere from two days to ten days."

Showering before swimming is recommended, along with teaching kids not to swallow pool or playground water.

"You want to make sure you're not sick when you're going in the water. that's the key thing," said Barbara Gibbs, with the Mobile County Health Department. 

Gibbs says the risk increases in July and August as more people head to the pool.

"You just never know what's floating around."

"We do not want him swallowing that water because there's so many things that's going around."

It's not just about pools though.

Other major Crypto exposures included contact with animals and contact with infected people in childcare settings.

Washing your hands and staying away from childcare centers when you're sick are other ways to prevent and control outbreaks.

So far this year there have only been two reported cases in Mobile County, which health experts say is not concerning, as they see about nine to ten cases on average per year, but there are certain things we can do to keep that number down.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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