NSW Health is urging people who have been unwell with diarrhoea to avoid swimming pools until at least two weeks after they have recovered, following a sharp increase in cryptosporidiosis cases in NSW.
Dr Jeremy McAnulty, Director of Health Protection at NSW Health, said this was important in preventing outbreaks of the diarrhoeal disease, as swimming pools can be easily contaminated by infectious swimmers.
Dr McAnulty said outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis linked to pools have occurred several times in NSW in recent years, with the biggest outbreak in 1998, when more than 1,000 cases were confirmed.
“Cryptosporidiosis is caused by a parasitic infection of the intestine that is easily spread in swimming pools and person to person or, less commonly, via drinking contaminated water or touching animals,” said Dr McAnulty.
“The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting. There is no specific treatment for the condition and symptoms may last a few weeks in some people,” he said.
To avoid getting infected with the parasite:
Dr McAnulty also urged public pool operators to adhere to the NSW Health guidelines on minimising the risk of cryptosporidium in pools and spas.
For resources and further information, pool operators should go to
Public swimming pools and spa pools.
For more information on cryptosporidiosis visit
For data on cryptosporidium cases refer to
Cryptosporidiosis notifications in NSW residents.