CDC warns about disease outbreaks linked to pools, hot tubs

It’s finally summer. With the warm temperatures here to stay, many families are heading to swimming pools.

Before you jump in, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a warning: Pools and hot tubs can carry many waterborne diseases. In fact, the CDC reports that more than 27,000 people have gotten sick from water-related illnesses since 2000.

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“Chlorine may not be as rapidly effective against some organisms, allowing them to survive slightly longer in pools,” said Jeffrey K. Burton, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Associates – Fern Creek. “If someone accidentally swallows the contaminated water, they could get sick and then pass it on to others.”

The CDC offers these tips to keep from getting sick from pools:

  • Don’t swim or let kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
  • Check pool, hot tub and water playground inspection scores.
  • Before getting in the water, use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to check if the water’s pH and bromine or free chlorine level are correct.
  • Don’t swallow the water.

Take kids on bathroom breaks hourly and change diapers away from the water.

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