Temporary Pool Closure Due to Cryptosporidium Detection

08 Mar 2024
Aquatics, Venue


What has happened?
On 8 March 2024, the Western Public Health Unit (WPHU) was notified of an outbreak of cryptosporidium (crypto) among several people that had swum in pools at Ascot Vale Leisure Centre. The public health investigation identified it is highly likely infections were acquired after swimming at Ascot Vale Leisure Centre. Moonee Valley City Council and WPHU have worked with us to address this issue. We immediately took action under the direction of the local council to briefly close the affected pools at the facility on the same day. All affected pools are being treated with extra chlorine (hyperchlorination) commencing from 5:00pm on 8 March 2024. Hyperchlorination kills crypto and other germs that might be in the pool.

We are now communicating with our patrons to help ensure no one who is ill or may be developing a crypto infection attends the pools, so that there will not be a further issue. Crypto can get into a pool when people with crypto swim while they are infectious. That is why it is so important for everyone who uses the pool to follow steps for healthy swimming to keep pools safe and to stay healthy.

What is crypto?
Cryptosporidium (crypto) is a germ that is spread when the poo of one person is swallowed by another person. If a person with crypto swims in a pool, the water may become contaminated with the germ. Once the water is contaminated, other swimmers can catch the germ by swallowing pool water. Crypto usually causes watery diarrhoea, along with stomach cramps, bloating, vomiting, and fever.

Ascot Vale Leisure Centre has water treatment measures in place at all times to protect pool users from germs and debris. However, crypto germs often survive normal levels of pool chlorine and can remain in pool water despite optimal, routine water disinfection measures. To protect our pool users, we treated our pools with extra chlorine (hyperchlorination) as soon as we were notified about this outbreak of crypto infection.

How long should I avoid swimming if I have had crypto infection?
Unfortunately, people with crypto infection can remain infectious to pool water for a long time – up to 14 days after their symptoms finish. The normal rule not to swim if you have diarrhoea does not fully protect our pools from crypto infection – you have to stay away from swimming in pools for 14 days after symptoms finish if you have had crypto.

The Western Public Health Unit is advising all pool users that if you have any symptoms of gastro, this could be a sign of crypto infection and you should consider seeing your doctor for a simple stool test. If you recently had diarrhoea, you should not swim until 14 days have passed since your last symptoms, because you might have crypto and not realise.

The best way to protect our pools and stay healthy while swimming
To prevent crypto and other germs from entering our pool, it is important that all patrons follow healthy swimming practices.

You can help keep our pools safe and available for use over summer by following these simple steps:

  • If your doctor has diagnosed you with crypto infection, you must not swim until 14 days have passed from the time your symptoms ended.
  • Don’t swim if you have had diarrhoea within the last 14 days.
  • Shower and wash with soap before swimming. Make sure your bottom is clean.
  • Wash your hands with soap after using the toilet or changing a nappy.
  • Only change nappies in nappy change areas.
  • Avoid swallowing pool water.

Further tips on healthy swimming can be found here - /www.health.vic.gov.au/water/healthy-swimming

If you have any questions, please call Ascot Vale Leisure Centre (9283-6402) or the Western Public Health Unit at 1800 497 111.

For GOswim Participants: 
If you or your child had scheduled lessons between 5:00pm Friday 8 March through to 10:00am Saturday 9 March, we will provide a credit for these sessions. We appreciate your understanding as we prioritise the health and safety of our community. 

We want to assure you that Ascot Vale Leisure Centre is committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety and hygiene. Our team is working diligently to address the situation, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our pools on Saturday, 9th March, at 10:00 am. 

For further information please keep an eye on our social media channels.

If you are feeling unwell:
Please visit your doctor or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 60 60 24.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team. 

TripAdvisor Panel

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