Summer holidays are upon us, and many of us will finally get to spend some lazy days by the pool. But how can you ensure this pleasant experience doesn’t leave you with any nasty surprises?
Many infectious bugs (micro-organisms) use water to spread to new hosts. As such, swimming pools can be a major source of gastrointestinal illness.
Many waterborne outbreaks are never identified. Fewer than 10% of ill people go to their doctor and most of these don’t submit samples for laboratory testing. Even if they did, organisms are difficult to detect in water and they’re often gone by the time the investigation takes place.
What Kinds Of Bugs Live In Pools And Spas?
The majority of bugs that end up in swimming pools originate in our gastrointestinal tract and arrive via faecal contamination (poo) or are washed off a dirty bottom.
The tiny, single-cell parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia are the leading causes of pool-related gastroenteritis in Australia and worldwide. These parasites can cause diarrhoea, dehydration, weight loss, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting.
Cryptosporidium or Giardia are particularly suited to waterborne transmission. This is because they’re resistant to chlorine and highly infectious. A small amount of contaminated faeces is enough to infect many fellow swimmers.
A number of viruses and bacteria – such as Shigella spp, Escherichia coli and Norovirus – also spread via swimming pools, causing gastroenteritis. Symptoms are similar to those usually associated with “food-poisoning”: vomiting, diarrhoea (sometimes bloody), fever and stomach cramps.
Some kinds of E. coli may also produce a harmful toxin. Shiga toxin can cause bloody diarrhoea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. But this is most commonly associated with food and not swimming pools.
The good news is that proper pool chlorination will kill these bacterial and viral pathogens.
Naegleria fowleri enters the body with water forced up the nose. It is mostly an issue for children and others who swim in freshwater lakes, rivers and hot springs, and those who swim in warm and inadequately chlorinated swimming pools.
Is It OK To Put Your Head Under?
Yes, but try not to drink the water. The main issue is accidental (or intentional) ingestion.
Most ear infections swimmers suffer are associated with repeated and prolonged wetting of the ear canal and not with specific pathogens in the water.
What Does A Strong Smell Of Chlorine Mean?
The smell of chlorine sounds like it would be a good thing, but it isn’t.
The strong “chlorine” odour associated with swimming pools is due to chloramines and not chlorine. Chloramines are a by-product of the chemical reaction between chlorine and nitrogen from human sweat and urine.
The process of superchlorination, or the addition of extra chlorine, destroys ammonia and organic compounds. This reduces chloramines, eliminates the smell and improves sanitisation.
A well-managed pool with adequate levels of chlorine should, in fact, have no odour.
How Common Is It To Find Urine And Faeces In Pool Water?
Urine is generally sterile, so apart from the yuck factor it’s not going to do you any harm. It does, however, feed the chemical process that produces chloramines and thus reduces the effectiveness of chlorination.
Faeces enters pools mostly from other swimmers' “accidents”. Recent studies show that, worldwide, most pools have at least one “accidental faecal release” every week throughout summer, and even daily in hydrotherapy pools or those highly used by non-toilet-trained infants and toddlers. Commercially available swim nappies reduce the problem, but some release will still generally occur.
Accidental faecal releases are treated with high doses of chlorine, which are added to the contaminated area. In some instances, pools are closed to the public, then either emptied, disinfected and refilled, or the entire pool is superchlorinated (usually requiring a 12- to 24-hour closure).
What Kinds Of Pools Are The Biggest Culprits?
Watch out for smelly, dirty, cloudy and poorly maintained pools. Water should generally be crystal clear and the tiles around the edges clean and grease-free.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
There is a limit to how far we can rely on sanitisation and cleaning to reduce the risk of pool-associated infections. Even the best-maintained pool can contain chlorine-resistant micro-organisms.
The best solution? Don’t get bugs in the pool in the first place. Follow the simple advice plastered on the walls of every facility: shower before entering, don’t swim if you’re sick with diarrhoea and make sure children are taken for frequent toilet breaks.
About The Authors
Simon Reid, Associate Professor or Communicable Disease Control, The University of Queensland
Una Ryan, Professor in Biochemistry, Murdoch University
The Pool Activity Level (PAL) Instrument for Occupational Profiling: A Practical Resource for Carers of People with Cognitive Impairment Fourth ... of Bradford Dementia Good Practice Guides)
Studio: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Label: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Manufacturer: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
The Pool Activity Level (PAL) Instrument is widely used as the framework for providing activity-based care for people with cognitive impairments, including dementia. The Instrument is recommended for daily living skills training and activity planning in the National Institute for Clinical Excellence Clinical Guidelines for Dementia (NICE 2006), and has been proven valid and reliable by a recent research study. It is an essential resource for any practitioner or carer wanting to provide fulfilling occupation for clients with cognitive impairments.
This fourth edition of The Pool Activity Level (PAL) Instrument for Occupational Profiling includes a new section on using the PAL Checklist to carry out sensory interventions, together with the photocopiable Instrument itself in a new easy-to-use format, and plans that help to match users' abilities to activities. It includes the latest research on the use of the PAL Instrument in a range of settings, and new case studies, as well as information about how a new online PAL tool complements and supports the book. The book also contains suggestions for activities, together with information on obtaining the necessary resources and guidance for carrying out the activities with individuals of different ability levels, as revealed by the PAL Checklist.
Dark Pool of Light, Volume Two: Consciousness in Psychospiritual and Psychic Ranges (Reality and Consciousness)
- Dark Pool of Light: Consciousness in Psychospiritual and Psychic Ranges (Reality and Consciousness)
- John Friedlander
- Kenneth Warren
Studio: North Atlantic Books
Label: North Atlantic Books
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Manufacturer: North Atlantic Books
In Volume 1, Grossinger begins with the scientific and philosophical, analytical views of reality; the subtitle of that volume is The Neuroscience, Evolution, and Ontology of Consciousness. In Volume 2, Consciousness in Psychospiritual and Psychic Ranges, he examines psychic sensitivity and planes of existence from diverse experiential perspectives, including theosophy and Buddhism. In 2008, Grossinger began studying with noted psychic teacher John Friedlander, who helped him refine his vision of cerebral and somatic awareness to still-subtler levels. "Dark Pool of Light began unnamed in the journals of my psychic work with John Friedlander," says Grossinger, "not so much a record of actual practices as insights from them and extensions out of them." An expansive inquiry into the nature of consciousness, this volume includes these "field notes" and observations from Grossinger's studies in the imaginal psychic realm, as well as exercises to invite the reader to experience these dimensions for themselves.
Binding: Kindle Edition
Format: Kindle eBook
Studio: She Writes Press
Label: She Writes Press
Publisher: She Writes Press
Manufacturer: She Writes Press
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