A new CDC study of public pools in Georgia found that 58% of them contain E. coli, the bacteria found in human feces.
Presumably, the bacteria would come from people’s skin, or from “accidents” in the pool.
The study was conducted in the summer of 2012 at public pools in the Atlanta, Georgia region.
They took water samples from the water filters at the pools and tested them for bacteria. They found bacteria commonly found in dirt (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) in 59% of the samples and bacteria from human feces (Escherichia coli) in 58% of them.These bacteria can cause skin reactions and infections and diarrhoea.
Municipal pools, as opposed to membership-based and club-based pools, were the worst offenders. Most likely because of diapered babies and small children who are still learning their toileting skills.
The study didn’t analyse illness from swimming in E. coli ridden pools, just the presence of the bacteria, but previous studies by the CDC indicate that these recreation water illnesses are getting more and more prevalent.
The report recommends that everyone should shower before entering the pool and probably shouldn’t poop in the pool either. The showers are especially important because, according to the report, everyone has about 0.14 grams of faecal material on their butts.
People shouldn’t go swimming when they have diarrhoea, the report warned:
A single diarrheal contamination incident can introduce 107–108 Cryptosporidium oocysts into the water, a quantity sufficient to cause infection if a mouthful of water from a typical pool is ingested
The study was published May 17 in the centre For Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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