CDC Suggests Staying Out Of Hotel Pools When You Have Diarrhea

Hotel Pools and Hot Tubs Are Major Sources of Waterborne Illness Outbreaks, CDC Says

Another type of bacteria, Pseudomonas, which can cause folliculitis ("hot tub rash") and otitis externa ("swimmers' ear"), sickened almost 13% of those enjoying recreational waters.

Diving into a hotel pool following a long day of travel may look enticing, but the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warns they are the leading cause for waterborne outbreaks. The waterborne disease outbreaks have been quite in the news in the recent years that are highly found in the recreational water bodies such as pools, hot tubs, and water parks.

The prevalence of waterborne disease outbreaks highlights how hard they can be to prevent, the report says.

Hotel swimming pools were the leading setting for the incidents, accounting for 157 of the 493 recorded outbreaks.

Finally, two out of every 10 routine inspections of public hot tubs or spas during a single year (2013) - about 2,773 of the total 13,864 inspections - indicated improper concentrations of disinfectant, according to the report authors.

Examining the hotel breakouts, 60 percent involved a confirmed infectious etiology. Pool operators need to maintain proper cleaning practices and disinfectant levels to prevent bacteria from growing and causing illnesses in swimmers. The majority of the outbreaks spiked during the summer months of June, July, and August.

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Over 90 percent of the outbreaks in hotel pools can be directly attributed to pathogens or chemicals.

In some cases, they can even lead to death, US health officials reported Thursday. In total, nearly one third (32 percent) of all outbreaks occurred in hotels which included motels, lodges, and inns.

Over half (58%) of outbreaks with a substantiated cause have been triggered by the parasite Cryptosporidium, known as Crypto, that can live even in properly managed pools and can cause swimmers to experience gastrointestinal diseases and diarrhea. Maintaining a safe and clean pool by using the right amount of chemicals is a priority. If it gets into contact with a swimmer, or if a swimmer were to digest some of the contaminated water, then the parasite will keep spreading. These supplies can be purchased at stores all across the United States.

Hlavsa cautioned that it's likely that not all outbreaks were reported to the CDC, and more people were probably sickened than the new report indicates.

Still, she added that, even though this simple step can protect you against some germs, it does not protect you against everything in recreational waters.

"Swallowing just a mouthful of water with Crypto in it can make otherwise healthy kids and adults sick for weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting", said Michele Hlavsa, R.N., M.P.H., chief of CDC's Healthy Swimming Program. "We are talking about preventing an illness by prescribing basic hygiene", Glatter said. If Crypto caused the diarrhea, wait two weeks after the diarrhea has stopped before swimming.

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