CDC findings show thousands of pool related illnesses!

Something to think about before you go on holiday! Chron has written an article about the CDC’s latest findings.

Do you and your family jump into the pool right after you check into your hotel on summer vacation? If so, you better be careful.

A new study from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that between 2000 and 2014, more than 27,000 people got sick from being in “recreational water,” and eight of them died. The CDC defines recreational water as swimming pools, hot tubs and water parks.

The agency identified a total of almost 500 separate “outbreaks” of pool-related disease, with an outbreak defined as two or more people getting the same illness from the same source at about the same time.

“Hotels (i.e., hotels, motels, lodges, or inns) were the leading setting associated with 157 (32%) of the 493 outbreaks,” the report said. And the busiest months for outbreaks were June through August.

Of the 157 outbreaks that happened at hotels, the most significant identified cause – 43 percent — was a bug called Pseudomonas, which results in ailments known as “hot tub rash” and “swimmer’s ear.”  Thirty-one percent of the hotel outbreaks were attributed to Legionella, the cause of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ disease — especially prevalent in hot tub and spa outbreaks — caused most of the deaths covered in the study. And 18 percent of the outbreaks came from Cryptosporidium, which causes gastrointestinal illness.

For the most part, these outbreaks shouldn’t happen if the hotel is doing its job in chlorinating the pool water.

“Chlorine is the primary barrier to the transmission of pathogens in treated recreational water,” the CDC said. “At CDC-recommended concentrations of at least 1 ppm, free available chlorine inactivates most pathogens within minutes, although extremely chlorine-tolerant Cryptosporidium can survive for more than 7 days. Cryptosporidium is transmitted when a diarrheal incident (i.e., a high-risk Cryptosporidium contamination event) occurs in the water and the contaminated water is ingested.”

Best advice: Don’t swallow pool water. And if your kids have diarrhoea, don’t let them in the water.

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