• Michelle Katona

Is your neighborhood pool carrying hidden bacteria?

Hidden beneath the surface of public swimming pools, the dangerous possibilities of water-born diseases are lurking.

For many people, a trip to the neighborhood pool may not seem like a health hazard waiting to happen. We go so far as to trust that the chlorine in the pool is taking care of the harmful bacteria present and dangers to our health. As it turns out, pool chemicals may not be 100% effective at eliminating the risks of public swimming. Several types of water-borne bacteria are able to outlive the harsh chemicals and make a negative impact on our personal wellness.

Defining Crypto

Crypto is a germ that is one of the main causes of RWI (recreational water illness) which causes diarrhea in the affected persons. Anyone can be affected by Crypto, however those most likely affected are children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

How is it spread?

The germ is spread by coming into contact with the fecal matter of the affected person. When one person poops or has remaining fecal matter on them when swimming in the water it will spread throughout the pool. When someone else swallows the contaminated water they will be ingesting the bacteria.

Protection Methods

The first and most important way to stop the spread of Crypto is that if you have diarrhea, please stay out of the water! Shower before entering the pool, leave the pool every hour for bathroom breaks, and don't swallow the water! Remember, Crypto can survive for days in a chlorinated pool, so don't assume that chlorinated water is safer to ingest.


Speaking of which...Have you heard of Legionella?

Legionella is a bacteria that is commonly found in freshwater. The bacteria becomes a concern to public health when it is transferred to a human water source including shower heads and hot tubs. When water vaporizes in the shower and the hot tub, this causes the Legionella to become active.

How is it spread?

Legionella is spread when water vaporizes into small enough particles to be breathed in. Occasionally there are cases in which aspiration, water accidentally entering the lungs when drinking, may cause infection. Once again, those with less strong immune systems are more likely to be affected.

Symptoms

Once affected by Legionella, a person will experience coughing, fever, chills, or body ache.

IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY OF THE AFOREMENTIONED SYMPTOMS, PLEASE VISIT YOUR NEAREST MEDICAL PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY


References

https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/about/causes-transmission.html

https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/swimming/resources/cryptosporidium-factsheet.pdf


35 views1 comment