In the recent article, “A Quick Dip in a Dirty Pool” by Ian Smith, the Centers for Disease Control projects that thousands of swimmers could be ill this summer from public pools.  Many parasites and bacteria are showing up in pools tested all over the United States.  Some swimmers are showing up at the hospital with a rash or a very upset stomach. One of the most dangerous bacteria found are Cryptosporidium.  It is a parasite that can multiply in your digestive system, leak out through a baby’s diaper in the pool, and then, if swallowed, it can cause diarrhea.  The tricky thing about Cryptosporidium is that it is highly resistant to chlorine and is able to survive in pool water for a few days.  E.Coli is another common bacteria found in pools.  It is also a bacteria that is found in the stomach and intestines of animals and is spread through feces particles, leaked out of dirty diapers in pools.  E.Coli is more easily destroyed by the chlorine in pool water than Cryptosporidium. This article is relevant to me because I use public pools in the summer.  The article gave helpful information on how bacteria are spread and steps to take to avoid getting bacterial infections.  One of the ways you can do a visual check for these microbes is to look at the water before you jump in.  It should be clear enough for you to see through at least ten feet of water and see objects such as the stripes on the bottom of the pool clearly.  If you see foamy or bubbling water along the pool’s edge this could be a sign that there is pollen or bacteria in the pool water.  The best advice is to keep your mouth closed while swimming.  Sometimes swimmers accidentally swallow some pool water and then ingest the microbes right along with the water into their digestive system.  Also, be on the lookout for babies wearing diapers.  Parents need to be changing their baby’s diapers frequently and washing their hands after diaper changes.  If you go to the restroom while at the pool be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you’re done before re-entering the pool.

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