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1 Dirty pool, many cases of Escherichia coli: the dangers of summer swimming Health

MONDAY, May 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) – When the weather warms up and families flock to the pools, dirty water can ruin the fun.

Swimmers in the Pennsylvania Public Basin have learned that the hard way, when in June 2021 more than a dozen children became seriously ill with two types of bacteria, Escherichia coli and C. difficile.

“These are pathogens that can cause quite significant gastrointestinal disorders at all ages, but especially in children,” said researcher Molly Nayce, an epidemiologist at the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Greensburg. “Some kids who had a positive result Escherichia coli also gave a positive result on C. difficile».

According to her, the children fell ill after swallowing water in the pool.

These bacteria usually get into the water in the pool because someone swims during diarrhea, Nayce said. Bacteria can also get into water from other sources of pollution, and sometimes there can be local sources of water Escherichia colishe added.

Fifteen children fell ill in the outbreak. Thirteen of them needed medical attention, six were hospitalized due to severe diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. Fortunately, no one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure.

The report was released May 20 at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Weekly report on morbidity and mortality.

Usually chlorine kills Escherichia coli and C. difficile. However, the automatic chlorinator in the pool was broken, which allowed the bacteria to grow. According to records, at one point no chlorine was found in the pool, the researchers said.

Nayce said the best way to avoid getting harmful bacteria into swimming pools is not to swim if you have diarrhea. People should also wash their hands before and after bathing. The advice concerns backyards and public swimming pools, she said.

Dr. Mark Siegel, a clinical professor of medicine at New York’s Langone Medical Center in New York City, compares pools to cesspools. “I mean, I’m not a fan of them,” he said.

Siegel’s advice to pool owners is to maintain the chlorine content at the recommended level and to clean the pool filters regularly.

“Check the filters often and make sure you have adequate filtration, and check the chlorine level,” he said. “Also, people who go into swimming pools have to take a shower first, which almost no one does.”

Nayce and Siegel recommended swimsuits to follow CDC Parade:

  • Do not swim and do not let others swim if you have diarrhea.
  • Take a shower for at least 1 minute before getting into the water to remove dirt or anything else on your body.
  • Do not swallow water.
  • Do not urinate or poop in water.
  • Take the kids to the bathroom for breaks and check diapers every hour.
  • Change diapers away from the pool to keep germs out of the water.
  • After bathing, dry your ears thoroughly with a towel.

The CDC also says that chlorine, mixed with dirt, sweat, urine and feces, creates chemicals that sting and redden swimmers ’eyes. And if these contaminants are in the pool water, it means less chlorine is available to kill germs.

More information

For more information on healthy swimming, see US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Molly Nais, MPH, Research Fellow in Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Greensburg; Mark Siegel, MD, Clinical Professor, Medicine, Langone Medical Center, New York, NY; CDC Weekly report on morbidity and mortalityMay 20, 2022

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