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Pool closed as staff fight harmful virus
Getty Images Good hand hygiene may help children avoid gastro bugs.

Kimberley residents have been warned to keep a close watch on hygiene during the wet season as stomach bugs begin to spread throughout the community.

Last week the Broome Shire temporarily closed the Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre swimming pool while chlorine levels were boosted in a precaution against a disease-causing micro-organism called cryptosporidiosis.

Spread through food contamination, dust, soil and water, it is characterised by diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss.

Kimberley Population Health registrar Pippa Chidgzey said there had been 17 reported cases of the bug among Kimberley children during November and the start of December.

Ms Chidgzey said crytosporidiosis and other stomach bugs were common at this time of year because of the heat and humidity, which had set in early this year.

She said while adults were not usually affected beyond diarrhoea, the most concerning cases would be in young children who were malnourished or already sick, but if a person was healthy, this disease was not something to panic about.

Chlorine levels at the BRAC pool were increased to kill microorganisms such as cryptosporidiosis and returned to normal before the pool was reopened last Friday.

Ms Chidgzey said families could avoid catching stomach bugs by keeping an eye on hygiene, especially washing their hands, during the wet season.