Just in time for pools to open this Memorial Day, the CDC has reminded everyone to stay cognizant of the water you’re swimming in. Over the last few years, certain water related infections have been occurring more frequently, with about a third happening at hotels.
First, follow these recommended steps for water-disease safety:
-Not drinking pool water will prevent most infections.
-Random inspections of the pool (in the US) are posted either nearby or online.
-You can buy cheap test strips at home stores and follow FDA suggestions to test the water treatment by yourself, since pools can change a lot day to day.
-Be a part of the solution: anyone who has has diarrhea needs to stay out of pools (and lakes) for 2 weeks.
-Always take a quick shower before swimming to help stop disease transmission.
What’s causing all the illnesses?
Warm weather plays a large part for outdoor pools (and lakes), encouraging bacteria to grow. At lakes you can check the daily temp with nearby rangers, and sometimes at pools too. Warmer waters means a higher chance of bacteria and parasites.
A big source of infection is cryptosporidium, which has gone from hundreds of infections per year to thousands. Even if a pool is well maintained, it can take over a week to kill of cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can cause diarrhea for a few days (if you’ve got a healthy immune system), to a few weeks.
Legionnaires also shows up at pools, causing flu-like symptoms. Pontiac Fever is another that can cause flu-like symptoms. While less likely than crypto, both are responsible for the more severe pool-related infection cases.
There are also other bacteria that can cause skin infections like rashes and outer ear infections (swimmer’s ear).
The good news (sort of) is, if you have a good immune system, you’ll just be sick and miserable, no medical support required. Drink lots of water, rest up, and ride it out. People with weakened immune systems will need to monitor for more serious complications.
What makes an immune system strong? Following all the basics of good health you’re always hearing about: good sleeping, good eating, and some exercise.
You can get an immune system boost from colloidal silver. Take it as daily immune support, or an extra boost when you swim (maybe even an extra-extra boost if you accidentally swallow pool water!).
Do you plan to swim this Memorial Day weekend?