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Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI) (cont.)

Who is most likely to get ill from an RWI?

Children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems (such as those living with AIDS, those who have received an organ transplant, or those receiving certain types of chemotherapy) can suffer from more severe illness if infected. People with compromised immune systems should be aware that recreational water might be contaminated with human or animal waste that contains Cryptosporidium (or Crypto). Cryptosporidosis, caused by cryptosporidium, can be life threatening in persons with weakened immune systems. People with a compromised immune system should consult their health care provider before participating in behaviors that place them at risk for illness.

How can we prevent RWIs?

Look at the pool and surroundings. What should you notice?

  • Clean and clear pool water; you should be able to clearly see any painted stripes and the bottom of the pool.
  • Smooth pool sides; tiles should not be sticky or slippery.
  • No odor; a well-chlorinated pool has little odor. A strong chemical smell indicates a maintenance problem.
  • Pool equipment working; pool pumps and filtration systems make noise and you should hear them running.

Practice healthy swimming behaviors

  • Refrain from swimming when you have diarrhea.
  • Avoid swallowing pool water or even getting it in your mouth.
  • Shower before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.
  • Take children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
  • Change diapers in a bathroom and not at poolside and thoroughly clean the diaper changing area.


Centers for Disease Control

Last Editorial Review: 4/14/2010 2:24:08 PM

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