Hotel Pools and Hot Tubs Linked to Disease Outbreaks
A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that one in three waterborne illness outbreaks in the United States between 2000 and 2014 could be traced to hotel pools or hot tubs. Most of these outbreaks involved Cryptosporidium (a parasite that can be found in even properly maintained pools and spas) and Pseudomonas and Legionella (bacteria that can survive disinfectant and are found in slimy water surfaces), according to the CDC.
The 493 outbreaks of waterborne illness reported from 2000 to 2014 resulted in at least 27,219 illnesses and eight deaths. During this 15-year period, rates of respiratory disease outbreaks caused by Legionella increased, skin infection outbreaks caused by Pseudomonas decreased, and diarrheal disease outbreaks caused by Cryptosporidium leveled off.
More than half of these outbreaks occurred during the summer months. When a specific germ was identified, Cryptosporidium (“Crypto”) accounted for 58 percent of outbreaks and 89 percent of illnesses. According to the CDC, swallowing just a mouthful of water containing this parasite can sicken healthy children and adults for weeks.