Tarpon Springs, Florida -- The Pinellas County Department of Health has notified the City of Tarpon Springs that they have received three confirmed cases of cryptosporidium in which the patients had been at the Tarpon Springs Splash Park during the incubation period.

All three patients attended the park during the fourth week of July.

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The City completely replaced and treated the water and all associated water systems at the Splash Park on Aug. 1. In an abundance of caution, the park will be closed Thursday and Friday while this process is repeated.

The City says it anticipates the park will reopen on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m.

Crypto is caused by a parasite called Cryptosporidium parvum that can infect humans, cattle, and other mammals. Infection with Crypto can cause loose, watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and/or a slight fever. Some people with Crypto have no symptoms at all.

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Cryptosporidium is often spread by hands contaminated with feces during toilet use or diaper-changing. From the hands, it can spread to surfaces, toys and food. It also spreads easily in water, including chlorinated swimming pools. When the cysts are swallowed, the person becomes infected.

Because Crypto can be spread so easily through water, people infected with Crypto should avoid swimming while ill and two weeks after diarrhea stops, as the parasite continues to be shed in feces. Swimming should be avoided even if the pool is properly chlorinated because Crypto is highly resistant to chlorine and can survive for days in the water.

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