August 4, 2010
What’s In the Water?
Beating the heat in the pool? Watch out for swimming sickness.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – With the recent high temperatures, many people are turning to swimming pools and water parks to cool off. But there are some things you should keep in mind before you dive in, like recreational water illnesses (RWIs).
Recreational water illnesses can be caused by germs like Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, E. coli 0157:H7, and Shigella, and are spread by accidentally swallowing water that has been contaminated with fecal matter. You share the water with everyone in the pool. If someone with diarrhea contaminates the water, swallowing the water can make you sick. Most germs are killed by chlorine, but some germs, like Crypto, are resistant to chlorine and can live in pools for days. That is why even the best maintained pools can spread illnesses.
The best way to prevent RWIs is to keep germs out of the pool in the first place. Follow these healthy swimming steps:
For all swimmers
For Parents of Young Children
If you’ve recently been swimming and start to experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and low-grade fever, check with your doctor and contact your health department as soon as possible.
For more information, log onto http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/swimmingpools.htm.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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