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    CDC Warning Don’t Swim If You Have Diarrhea

    The Centres for Disease Control on Prevention tweeted a warning that “one person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool,” along with a cartoon gif of a girl going down a slide leaving a brown streak behind. The tweet was posted on July 2nd in their twitter handle.

    The CDC added a link to its guidance on diarrhea and swimming, but the comments on the tweet appeared to be concerned with what was behind the colorful graphic.

    Many were grossed out, while others pointed out taxpayer dollars may have funded the work behind this.

    If you can’t get past the sight of a cartoon repeatedly making her mark on the pool slide, here is the guidance the agency wants you to know:

    Stay out of the water if you are sick with diarrhea

    Stay out of the water if you are sick with diarrhea. If you have been diagnosed with cryptosporidium, don’t go back in the water until two weeks after diarrhea has completely stopped.

    • Use test strips to make sure the water has a proper free chlorine (amount of chlorine available to kill germs) or bromine level and pH.
    • Shower before you get in the water.
    • Rinsing off in the shower for just 1 minute removes most of the dirt or anything else on your body that uses up chlorine or bromine needed to kill or inactivate germs.
    • Don’t poop in the water.
    • Don’t swallow the water.
    • Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour.

    How do germs that cause diarrhea spread in swimming pools ?

    Tiny amounts of poop are rinsed off swimmers’ bottoms as they swim through the water. If someone with infectious diarrhea (which can contain up to one billion germs) gets in recreational water, germs can be washed off their bottom and contaminate the water. These germs can make someone else sick if they swallow even a small amount of contaminated water.

    In public pools, water playgrounds, and hot tubs, disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) and filtration work together to help kill germs. Chlorine and bromine kill most germs within minutes, and filters remove debris (e.g., leaves, sticks), which use up the needed chlorine or bromine. Swimmers may still be exposed to germs during the time it takes for the chlorine or bromine to the kill germs or for the water to be recycled through filters. And certain germs, like Crypto, can stay alive for days, even in pools with proper filtration and disinfection.

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