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You Can Prevent Cryptosporidiosis

How Can I Protect Myself from Crypto? continued...

5. Be careful when swimming in lakes, rivers, or pools, and when using hot tubs. When swimming in lakes, rivers, or pools, and when using hot tubs, avoid swallowing water. Several outbreaks of crypto have been traced to swallowing contaminated water while swimming. Crypto is not killed by the amount of chlorine normally used in swimming pools and water parks. Crypto also can remain alive in fresh and salt water for several days, so swimming in polluted lake or ocean water may also be unsafe.

6. Wash and/or cook your food.Fresh vegetables and fruits may be contaminated with crypto. Therefore, wash well all vegetables or fruit you will eat uncooked. If you take extra steps to make your water safe (see below for ways to do so), use this safe water to wash your fruits and vegetables. When you can, peel fruit that you will eat raw, after washing it. Do not eat or drink unpasteurized milk or dairy products. Cooking kills crypto. Therefore, cooked food and processed or packaged foods are probably safe if, after cooking or processing, they are not handled by someone infected with crypto.

7. Drink safe water.Do not drink water directly from lakes, rivers, streams, or springs. Because you cannot be sure if your tap water contains crypto, you may wish to avoid drinking tap water, including water and ice from a refrigerator ice-maker, which are made with tap water. Because public water quality and treatment vary throughout the United States, always check with the local health department and water utility to see if they have issued any special notices about the use of tap water by HIV infected persons. You may also wish to take some additional measures: boiling your water, filtering your water with certain home filters, or drinking certain types of bottled water. Processed carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles are probably safe, but drinks made at a fountain might not be because they are made with tap water. If you choose to take these extra measures, use them all the time, not just at home. If the public health department advises boiling the water, do not drink tap water unless you boil it. You could also use one of the bottled waters described below.

A. Boiling water: Boiling is the best extra measure to ensure that your water is free of crypto and other germs. Heating water at a rolling boil for 1 minute kills crypto, according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) scientists. After the boiled water cools, put it in a clean bottle or pitcher with a lid and store it in the refrigerator. Use the water for drinking, cooking, or making ice. Water bottles and ice trays should be cleaned with soap and water before use. Do not touch the inside of them after cleaning. If you can, clean water bottles and ice trays yourself.

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