CDC: Watch out for these swimming-related diseases

Posted at 11:08 AM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 11:08:00-04

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Summer is quickly approaching and that means vacation season. That also means many pools in the Tri-State are beginning to open.

The Centers for Disease Control is warning swimmers and parents that one in three swimming-related disease outbreaks happen at hotels.

One of the diseases that swimmers can get from a public pool is Cryptosporidium, also known as just Crypto.

The CDC says Crypto spreads in pools when someone sick with the parasite has diarrhea in the water and other swimmers swallow that contaminated water.

Crypto can cause otherwise healthy people to be sick for weeks with diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting, the CDC said.

Legionella and Pseudomonas which are bacteria can also cause outbreaks for swimmers, the CDC says.

The CDC says Legionella can cause severe pneumonia and symptoms similar to the flu and Pseudomonas can cause hot tub rash and swimmer's ear.

The bacteria can be caused by a pool, hot tub, or water playground that's not cleaned properly, the CDC says. They say the bacteria can grow and form a slime called biofilm on wet surfaces.

The CDC says the bacteria is harder to disinfect and kill when they're protected by the biofilm.

People 50 years and older, current or former smokers, people with chronic lung disease, and people with a weakened immune system are more likely to get sick from Legionella, the CDC says.

The CDC says the best rules to follow to keep you and your family safe in public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds are:

  • Don't swim or let your kids swim if they are sick with diarrhea.
  • Check the pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds inspection scores.
  • Before getting in the water, use a test strip to check if the water's pH and bromine or free chlorine level are correct. Those strips can be found at pool supply stores.
  • Don't swallow the water.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks hourly, and change diapers in a diaper-changing area and away from the water.

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