Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Towards Cryptosporidium Among Public Swimming Pool Patrons and Staff in Western Australia

Kamil Braima, Samantha Harvie, Isabella Trew, Henry Tan, Caryn Gore, Alireza Zahedi, Charlotte Oskam, Sheleigh Lawler, Simon Reid, Una Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: There is a dearth of research conducted on the Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) of swimming pool patrons and staff to determine their understanding of the importance of Cryptosporidium and its transmission in swimming pools. Methods: We conducted a KAP survey of public swimming pool patrons (n = 380) and staff (n = 40) attending five public swimming pools in Western Australia (WA). Results: Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of Cryptosporidium varied between patrons and staff but were generally limited. Only 26.1% and 25.0% of patrons and staff had heard of Cryptosporidium, while 17.4% and 10.0% knew that it causes diarrhoea, respectively. Thirty-one percent of patrons were aware of their pool policy concerning gastroenteritis and Cryptosporidium, compared to 62.5% of staff. Less than 50% of patrons demonstrated awareness of how features within the pool environment were relevant to the control of Cryptosporidium. Only about a third of patrons (35%) and staff (37.5%) were aware that showering before swimming reduced the risk of gastroenteritis. Conclusion: Raising awareness about hygiene-related practices through the delivery of targeted health education messages to the general public is essential to reduce the burden of Cryptosporidium infections in aquatic environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460–467
Number of pages8
JournalActa Parasitologica
Volume67
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

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