COLLEGE STATION, TX — It's happened to us all before.
You take that dive or get off that slide and... *gulp* you just drank some pool water.
Whether it's a public pool, a hotel hot tub, a local water playground, or the ocean itself - they can all be cesspools of Crypto, according to the CDC.
All of which, can cause diarrhea.
According to the CDC, tiny amounts of human feces are rinsed off swimmers' bottoms as they swim through the water. Thus, when someone with infectious diarrhea (which can contain up to one billion germs) gets in the pool, these germs can be washed off their bottom and contaminate the water.
These germs can make someone else sick with diarrhea, even if they just swallow a small amount of the contaminated water.
Luckily for the public, water disinfecting chemicals such as chlorine and bromine kill most germs with minutes, while filters remove debris that would otherwise use up the chemicals.
However, swimmers can still get exposed to germs during the time it takes for the chemicals to kill the germs or for the water to be recycled through filters.
Certain germs, like Crypto, can stay alive for days, even in pools with proper filtration and disinfection, according to the CDC.
Many facilities reportedly use one filtration system for multiple pools, which causes water from multiple pools to mix. This means germs from one person’s body could contaminate the water in multiple pools.
So what can you do? Aside from maybe chasing the kids around with a water house instead this summer...
First things first, the CDC recommends anyone sick with diarrhea, to stay out of public recreational waters for at least two weeks after they've fully recovered.
Secondly, as most public pools already require, the CDC recommends showering for at least 60 seconds before getting in the water.
Finally, the CDC suggests legal guardians be mindful of their children, monitoring and taking them on regular bathroom/diaper checks, to avoid feces from getting in the water.
For advice on utilizing test strips to check proper pH levels, click here.
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