Make a Splash But Don’t Get Sick
St. Clair County Extension expert Saralee Bury Jamieson offers advice on staying healthy at the pool.
The chance of a swimmer in the U.S. being attacked by a shark is close to zero. But dangerous creatures do lurk in our waters, including lakes, ponds and even concrete swimming pools.
Microbes such as cryptosporidium, shigella, giardia and E. coli frequently live in public swimming areas. All three cause diarrhea if ingested.
“Accidently swallowing contaminated water, or even getting it in your mouth, can make you ill,” said Saralee Bury Jamieson, a human development specialist for University of Missouri Extension. “You can also get infections in eyes, ears and nose, as well as in cuts and scrapes.”
Public health professionals call swimming-related sicknesses “recreational water illness” but say there are easy ways to stay safe.