Before you take a splash in the pool, hot tub, lake or your local waterpark, there’s something you should know. Germs can contaminate swimming water and cause illness known as recreational water illnesses (RWIs).
RWIs are caused by germs like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E. Coli and Shigella and are spread by accidentally swallowing water that has been contaminated with fecal matter according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Because the water is shared with everyone, one person with diarrhea can easily contaminate the water and spread illnesses. Several illnesses can be contracted from swimming including:
You should also avoid swimming in lakes, rivers and oceans that have been
Although germs causing RWIs are killed by chlorine, some are resistant and can live in pools for days before dying. Even the best maintained pools are not immune. More than 15,000 swimmers became ill from swimming during the past decade.
Learn healthy swimming behaviors and help prevent RWIs. The CDC recommends the following tips: