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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Infection from Recreational Swimming-Cryptosporidiosis

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 9:36 PM Comments

Swimming is a very good form of aerobic exercise and many love to swim without any intention of doing exercising. It is also a recreational activity.
According to a new CDC report, eight people died and about 14,000 people in 38 states and Puerto Rico were sickened by bacteria and other bugs picked up during recreational swimming activities in a two-year period ending in December 2008.
 Life cycle of Cryptosporidium spp., the causat...Image via Wikipedia
Again there were 134 disease outbreaks were found to be associated with recreational water illness from 2007-2008; a 72% increase since 2005-2006.
The outbreaks were linked to swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers, and ocean water. Of the 134 outbreaks, 60.4% caused gastrointestinal illness, 17.9% skin problems, and 12.7% acute respiratory disease. Cryptosporidium was responsible for 45% of illness.
There were eight fatal cases of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis -- a rare but deadly brain infection caused by the freshwater amoeba Naegleria fowleri.
Those outbreaks resulted in at least 13,966 illnesses. Cryptosporidium was responsible for 60 of the 105 outbreaks that health officials were able confirm in a laboratory, and the largest number of victims, 12,137.
The swimming pool water is typically disinfected with chlorine and mostly recycled. Chlorine as a disinfectant has its own hazards, and cannot kill all the pathogens within the recommended level.
Cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal disease caused by a protozoa Cryptosporidium parvum and is typically resistant to chlorine. It can live for three to 10 days in pools, fountains and water parks with a recommended level of 1 to 2 milligrams of chlorine per liter of water. The transmission is through faeco-oral route.
Symptoms develop one to 12 days (on average, seven days) after swallowing contaminated water and include:
  • Profuse, watery diarrhoea, often accompanied by;
There are ways to kill cryptosporidium protozoa, including ultraviolet light and ozone, but those are not employed for disinfection as are more expensive than chlorine.
Apart from this, one may acquire several other diseases; some of those can get infected by;
  • E. Coli,
  • Pseudonomas,
  • Leptospira,
  • Naegleria an amoeba
To stay safe;
  • One should not shallow the pool water,
  • Abstain from swimming, if suffering from diarrhea and
  • Everyone should shower or at least rinse off before getting into the water
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