There might be poop in the water you’re swimming in so please don’t swallow it, CDC says


Every summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention turns its attention to the disgusting state of American swimming holes — and their latest investigation traced thousands of infections back to lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

A team of researchers analyzed 140 outbreaks that made nearly 5,000 people sick, and even killed two swimmers between 2000 and 2014. Public parks and beaches accounted for roughly two-thirds of the outbreaks, according to the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. And the majority of those outbreaks occurred over the summer months — right when the water is most inviting.

The most common infections the CDC turned up came from swallowing poop-tainted water. Most of them cause diarrhea — norovirus, bacterial infections like Shigella and E. coli, and parasites like Cryptosporidium were all reported. People also got itchy rashes thanks to parasites called avian schistosomes, which usually infect birds and a specific species of snail. But the worms can also wiggle into human skin and cause a rash before the misguided parasites die. And toxic algal blooms sickened swimmers in a handful of outbreaks.

It’s not all diarrhea and rashes; two people died from infections with a brain eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. To avoid it, the study authors say, use a nose clip to keep your nostrils shut and don’t dunk your head underwater while swimming in warm freshwater and hot springs.

Read The Verge


About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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