05/20/2013

Poop bacteria in most public swimming pools

NEWS

Much the way the movie Jaws had a lot of people thinking twice before going swimming in the ocean, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report may make you reconsider a trip to the neighborhood swimming pool.  According to the study, 58 percent of public pools in the U.S. had E. coli bacteria, an indicator of the presence of feces.  Bacteria P. aeruginosa was also found in 59 percent of pool samples, which indicates contamination from the environment, swimmers or other objects that can transmit microorganisms. 

The E. coli bacteria are typically found in the guts of warm-blooded organisms, including humans, and can be transferred to the pool if someone does not appropriately wash feces off his or her body before swimming or by actually using the pool as a bathroom.  While the majority of E. coli are harmless to humans, some can make people dangerously ill.  Symptoms of an infection can include abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, fever and nausea. 

This report serves as a warning to swimmers themselves and especially the parents of young swimmers.  It recommends always taking a shower before swimming if you (or a child) are suffering from diarrhea to ensure that it has been fully washed off your body.  And of course, don't poop in the pool.

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Sourced from: Poop Bacteria In Most Public Swimming Pools, USA, Medical News Today