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Diarrhea-causing parasite shuts down some MN pools

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Multiple pools in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa are being temporarily closed and cleaned because of a diarrhea-inducing disease.

Cryptosporidiosis – often called crypto – is a disease caused by tiny parasites that can live in human or animal intestines. It's passed on from the stool of an infected person, the CDC says, and causes stomach cramps/pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, possibly fever, and more.

And it's that little parasite that has forced some pools in southern Minnesota (and at least one in Iowa) to shut down for super cleaning.

One of those is the Kasson Aquatic Center, which is closed until Aug. 19 because of crypto. The center, on Facebook, said there was a confirmed case of the disease at an Owatonna pool – and even though it wasn't found specifically in Kasson, they're following the recommendation of the Minnesota Department of Health and taking precautionary measures.

That includes "chemical and super shock treatments."

"There have not been any cases in the Kasson Aquatic Center!" the Facebook post says. "This is simply for precautionary measures as advised by the MN Dept. of Public Health as we don't know if people may have been infected and traveled to our pool."

Soldiers Field Memorial Pool in Rochester is in the same boat basically, Ben Boldt, the recreation supervisor with the city's Parks and Recreation department told BringMeTheNews.

They shut down Wednesday afternoon after finding out someone who may have had crypto might have been swimming in the pool. They're now cleaning it, "pumping up the chemicals" to get everything straight again, and hope to be open at noon Friday, Boldt said.

BringMeTheNews has reached out to the state Department of Health for more information.

Iowa pool shut down too

Across the border, the Mason City Aquatic Center was forced to do the same after it had visitors with crypto visit in the past week, the pool wrote on Facebook. It closed Wednesday and will re-open Saturday after some "super-chlorinating" is done. They're not 100 percent sure the water is contaminated, but are taking precautions.

"We will hold elevated chlorine levels to cleanse the pool of any bacteria before re-balancing pools back to safe levels of chlorine for our patrons," Brian Pauly, with the city's recreation department, said.

How long crypto virus lasts

Crypto by itself isn't deadly, but it is very contagious and the rapid dehydration from diarrhea can be risky for infants and pregnant women, the CDC says.

Symptoms usually start 2-10 days after being infected, and in a healthy individual it can last for one or two weeks – and those symptoms can go in waves, getting better, then worse, then better again before finally being gone.

Anyone who has been to those southern Minnesota pools in recent days and now has diarrhea, cramping, vomiting or other symptoms should call their doctor. Kasson also asks you call and notify City Hall.

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