A hotel pool may be a sought-after amenity, but all too often taking the plunge can result in a bucket full of health problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
One in three cases of swimming-related disease outbreaks that occurred in the US between 2000 and 2014 were traced back to hotel pools, the CDC reported.
Most of the illnesses were caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium and the bacteria Pseudomonas and Legionella, which are resistant to cleaning and disinfecting agents.
Cryptosporidium can cause diarrhea, while Legionella causes respiratory problems, and Pseudomonas results in skin infections.
“‘Crypto’ spreads in pools when someone sick with the parasite has diarrhea in the water and other swimmers swallow that contaminated water,” the CDC noted.
“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.
“Chlorine cannot kill Crypto quickly. We need to keep it out of the water in the first place. Don’t go into the water, and don’t let your kids go into the water, if sick with diarrhea.”
Legionella and Pseudomonas bacteria thrive under a slimy surface on improperly cleaned pools, making proper sanitation procedures by hotel owners and others with pools critical for preventing these bacterial illnesses, the CDC added.