Summer is here, and millions of Americans are seeking refuge from the heat by heading to the local public pool. As every year, the CDC warned all pool-goers of the hidden dangers lurking in the chlorine-filled waters, the internet panicking over the idea that poop freely floats in swimming pools all over the country. Is an epidemic just waiting to break out? Experts believe it’s not. Here’s a look at the numbers.
About 17 Percent of People Pee Willingly in Public Pools
A 2011 study focusing on the average swimmer hygiene behavior found about 17 percent of individuals pee in public swimming pools. At least 17 percent admitted to the behavior. There are real chances that a considerable part of those involved in the study were ashamed to confess their dirty habits.
Another 2000 paper found that every child unknowingly releases about ten grams of fecal matter when bathing or swimming. Multiplying that with the millions of children that invade swimming pools in the summer, the United States should have faced a nation-wide epidemic each year. However, it didn’t because most pools are filled with chlorine and the human body is made to stave off bacteria daily.
Who Gets Sick?
The CDC released a statement last week, notifying the public that the incidence of Crypto outbreaks have doubled since 2014. The Cryptosporidium bacteria is responsible for about 50 percent of overall gastrointestinal conditions caused by direct contact with recreational waters. When lakes and rivers are eliminating, the number climbs to a staggering 80 percent.
This is because the Cryptosporidium is one of the few bacteria that survives the effects of chlorine and other swimming pool disinfectants. Other recreational water dangers include Giardia, Shigella, E.coli, and norovirus.
Swimming Pools Are Safe if You Don’t Swallow the Water
From the total 300 million individuals who visit a public swimming pool at least once a year, about 1,400 get treated for an infection caused by bacteria lurking in recreational waters. Usually, these conditions are caught when the swimmers enter public waters with an open wound through which bacteria crawls in or when they accidentally ingest the infected water.
Best advice for a diarrhea-free summer at the pool? Don’t swim next to groups of toddlers, don’t do in the water if you have an open wound, and whatever happens, don’t swallow the water. Also, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and enjoy your summer.
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