What’s in the pool?
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
The water in the swimming pool may look clean, but a microscope might show you it’s not. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention checked, testing water in 160 pools.
Guest researcher Joan Shields says none of the pools had reported health problems. But she reports two germs that live in the intestinal tract and can make people sick – Cryptosporidium and Giardia:
``About 1 out of 12 swimming pools were positive for at least one of the parasites. While this might not seem like a lot, it does suggest that contamination happens more often than outbreaks are reported.’’ (11 seconds)
Shields says when you swim, you’re taking a communal bath – so don’t swim when you have diarrhea, don’t swallow the water, and don’t change diapers at poolside.
The study was in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011