THURSDAY, May 17, 2018 (HealthDay News) – Swimming pools, hot tubs and water games can be synonymous with fun during the summer, but they can also be a breeding ground for dangerous germs that could make you sick.
Some cases may even lead to death, US health officials reported.
And of all the outbreaks of germs transmitted by water between 2000 and 2014, a third occurred in swimming pools or hot tubs in hotels, officials said.  "We often underestimate what it takes to properly run a group or hot tub to maintain a level of chlorine where it should be," said study lead author Michele Hlavsa, director of the Centers Healthy Swimming Program. for Disease Control and Prevention. 19659002] That's why the CDC recommends that public pools, including hotel pools and water parks, be managed by trained people to keep the water free from contamination.
The majority of reported outbreaks were caused by three serious infections – Cryptospor idium (known as Crypto), Legionella and Pseudomonas.
Crypto is a parasite strong enough to survive even in properly chlorinated pools, warned Hlavsa. It usually contracts by swallowing water from the pool, often when it has been contaminated by diarrhea. The infection can cause up to three weeks of severe diarrhea, he said.
Although Crypto cases have decreased since 2008, the decline has stabilized, Hlavsa said.
Pseudomonas and Legionella (which can cause Legionnaires' disease) are bacteria that can challenge disinfectants and live in slimy areas of hot tubs, pools, and water parks.
These bacteria can enter the body through the skin, eyes or nose, explained Hlavsa.
According to the new report, 493 outbreaks of waterborne infections were reported between 2000 and 2014, causing more than 27,000 illnesses and eight deaths. Crypto caused 58 percent of the outbreaks and 89 percent of the diseases.
Legionella caused 16 percent of the outbreaks, and Pseudomonas caused 13 percent. Legionella can cause severe pneumonia and flu-like symptoms, while Pseudomonas can cause "hot tub rash" and swimmer's ear.
The most susceptible to Legionella are people 50 years of age or older, current or former smokers, people with chronic lung disease and those with weakened immune systems.