September 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts September 2001 Current Issue
September 2001
IMAGEShort Cuts:

Call it “dirty pool”

That pool water might look clean and inviting, but is it laced with dangerous parasites and bacteria? It’s likely. Each year, thousands of unsuspecting swimmers are stricken with Recreational Water Illness, caused by swallowing water contaminated with fecal matter, warns the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control (

The biggest germ culprits are Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E. coli and Shigella. Exposure and ingestion can cause severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, as well as ear, eye and throat infections.

Likewise, skin infections can be contracted through hot tubs and spas. While chlorine treats infected water, some germs, like Cryptosporidium (or “Crypto”) are highly resistant and can thrive in even the best maintained pool for several days.

Before plunging in, make sure you can see up to 10 feet, check for foamy or bubbly water along the pool’s sides, keep an eye out for young swimmers wearing diapers, and avoid getting water in your mouth.


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