Swimming Pools
They can make you sick

By Stephanie Booth
Reprinted From AOL Health

Chlorinated Water Does Not Eliminate Your Risk!
Don't allow toddlers in pool without waterproof undergarments.
Shower with soap before entering a swimming pool.
Don't swallow pool water, or spit in the pool.
And never blow your nose into the water.

Can't wait to dive into that swimming pool? Well, here's a reason to hold your breath. That water could be teeming with germs waiting to make you sick.

More than 4,000 people were sickened by a recreational water illness between 2005 and 2006 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The assumption that swimming pools are cess pools can be correct," Dr. Ranit Mishori, assistant professor of family medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, says, "Swimming is a wonderful activity, but everyone should take precautions."

The problem is you're sharing germs with everyone else in the pool, and they can be transmitted as easily as swallowing a mouthful of water while playing Marco Polo.

A well-maintained swimming pool uses the appropriate amount of chlorine and other disinfectants to kill bacteria which cause illness, explained Dr. Philip J. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. However, the time it takes chlorine to kill each germ varies. And the more crowded the pool, the faster the chlorine is used up. Although diarrhea is by far the most commonly reported, swimming-related illnesses can also manifest as eye, ear, respiratory, skin or neurological infections.

"All it takes is one child with diarrhea, or whose diaper falls off, to contaminate a whole pool," said Mishori.

Feces, even a miniscule amount "is by far the biggest health hazard in swimming pools," agreed Tierno. (Infants restricted in community swimming pool due to E.coli health hazard.**)

Here are the pathogens you might be sharing the pool with this summer:

Cryptospordium: This chlorine-resistant parasite is the leading cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks at swimming pools, and can live for days in even properly chlorinated pools, according to the CDC.

Escherichia coli: Or simply E. coli, is one of the many groups of bacteria that live in the intestines of healthy humans and most warm-blooded animals. E. coli bacteria help maintain the balance of normal intestinal flora (bacteria) against harmful bacteria and synthesize or produce some vitamins.

However, there are hundreds of types or strains of E-coli bacteria. Different strains of E. coli have different distinguishing characteristics.

A particular strain of E-coli known as E. coli O157:H7 causes a severe intestinal infection in humans. It is the most common strain to cause illness in people. It can be differentiated from other E. coli by the production of a potent toxin that damages the lining of the intestinal wall causing bloody diarrhea.

**Infection may also occur after swimming in, or drinking water that has been contaminated with E. coli O157:H.

Giardia: Like crypto, giardia is a microscopic parasite passed through feces, which can cause diarrhea.

Noroviruses: Exposure to this group of viruses can cause vomiting, nausea, stomach cramping and diarrhea that can last for several days.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa: This germ -- which is present in soil and water, not feces, is responsible for "swimmers ear," an itchy or painful inflammation of the ear.

Unlike flu viruses, new strains of swimming pool microorganisms don't premiere each summer. "We've seen these same strains for years," said Tierno.

And because they aren't going away any time soon, the best way to stay safe is by practicing good personal hygiene like:

Shower with soap before entering the pool.

Don't swallow pool water.

Don't spit in the pool.

Don't blow your nose into the water.

Super Important: Children's Swim Diapers should be secured tightly and changed frequently, preferably not poolside. Anybody with diarrhea should skip the pool altogether. (Never take an infant into the water naked.)

Also, be on the lookout for lifeguards or facility managers running pH tests to make sure chlorine in the water is at an optimal level. Clear water and clean, not slimy, tiles are also good signs.

If the pool is standing room only on a hot day, reconsider getting in, since your risk of getting sick will be higher.

Very young children, pregnant women and people with immune deficiencies who may be more susceptible to illness, should limit the time spent in a pool. --

See Swimming Pool Health Hazards.

World's Biggest Swimming Pool



If you like doing laps in the swimming pool, you might want to stock up on the energy drinks before diving in to this one.

It is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has a 115 feet deep end, and holds 66 million gallons of water.

The Guinness Book of Records named the vast pool beside the sea in Chile as the biggest in the world.

But if you fancy splashing out on one of your own - and you have the space to accommodate it - then beware: This one took five years to build, cost nearly $1 billion and the annual maintenance bill will be $2 million. (See what a Trillion Dollars looks like.)

The man-made saltwater lagoon has been attracting huge crowds to the San Alfonso del Mar resort at Algarrobo, on Chile 's southern coast, since it opened recently.

Its turquoise waters are so crystal clear that you can see the bottom even in the deep end.

It dwarfs the world's second biggest pool, the Orthlieb - nicknamed the Big Splash - in Morocco , which is a mere 150 yards long and 100 yards wide. An Olympic size pool measures some 50 yards by 25 yards.

Chile's monster pool uses a computer - controlled suction and filtration system to keep fresh seawater in permanent circulation, drawing it in from the ocean at one end and pumping it out at the other.

The sun warms the water to 26°C, nine degrees warmer than the adjoining sea.

Chilean biochemist Fernando Fischmann, whose Crystal Lagoons Corporation designed the pool, said advanced engineering meant his company could build "an impressive artificial paradise" even in inhospitable areas.

"As long as we have access to unlimited seawater, we can make it work, and it causes no damage to the ocean." --

See Sugar is a poison.

Health Factoid          

Due to the power and corrupting influence of Big Pharma, the teaching
of nutritional science and the use of vitamin and herbal supplements is
not taught to any significant extent in our medical schools. The obvious
reason is that teaching this science reduces the use of prescription drugs.

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  *Consultation with a health care professional should occur before applying adjustments or treatments to the body, consuming medications or nutritional supplements and before dieting, fasting or exercising. None of these activities are herein presented as substitutes for competent medical treatment. See Disclaimer.