CDC Study Finds Fecal Contamination Common in Public Pools

Posted on May 17, 2013

A new CDC study has found that fecal contamination is common in public swimming pools in the U.S. The CDC collected samples of water from pool filters from public pools and tested the samples for genetic material (for example, DNA) of multiple microbes. The gross study found that 58% of the pool filter samples tested were positive for E. coli.

The CDC says the finding indicates swimmers frequently contaminate pool water when they have a "fecal incident in the water" or when feces rinse off of their bodies in the pool because they "do not shower thoroughly before getting into the water."

The CDC study also revealed that Pseudomonas aeruginosa was found in 59% of samples. Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause rashes and ear infections.

The CDC advises swimmers to avoid swallowing the pool water in public pools because chlorine and other disinfectants do not kill the germs instantly. The CDC also recommends not swimming while you have diarrhea because you could contaminate the pool. More healthy swimming tips from the CDC can be found here.

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