Is there anything better than a quick dip in a cool pool on a hot day?
Short of a trip to the beach — if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby — you won’t find a better place to pass the day when the mercury rises.
Unless it’s a PUBLIC pool.
I don’t want to sound snobby about this, but when you jump into one of those sludgewater pits, you’re not alone… and I’m not just talking about the unwashed masses joining you for that swim.
You’re also splashing around with filthy poop bacteria!
Frightening new stats from the CDC show the number of nasty infections picked up from diarrhea germs in public pools has been skyrocketing in recent years.
Outbreaks in public pools of cryptosporidium — a diarrhea germ that can survive for 10 DAYS in chlorinated water — doubled to 32 last year.
That may not sound like a lot, but not every illness is caused by a CDC-level outbreak, and those “lesser” non-outbreak cases are on the rise, too.
In Ohio, for example, there were 2,000 crypto illnesses in 2016… after never having more than 571 in a single year since 2012. The number of cases in Arizona jumped by more than 500 percent, according to The Washington Post.
And some folks are more at risk than others.
You could even be one of them!
Someone young and healthy might swallow mouthful after mouthful of chlorinated water loaded with germs like cryptosporidium and not even know it.
It’s gross, sure, but they might not get sick.
But someone a little older and a little weaker in the first place — maybe with a compromised immune system or other health problems — could end up battling weeks of agonizing stomach pain, nasty diarrhea, vomiting, and more.
And it starts with just a little water getting in your mouth, entirely by accident, as you go for a swim.
That’s not the only reason pools are nasty, either. A study earlier this year found your typical public pool on average has about 20 gallons of urine.
So, you’ve got poop and urine. You may as well swim in a cesspool!
I don’t want to blow this too far out of proportion. With more than 300,000 public pools in the United States, the odds of being in one at ground zero of an outbreak are pretty low.
But they’re not ZERO, either.
And even if you’re not in “outbreak” conditions, you could still pick something up that could make you sick — whether it’s a nasty poop germ, a bug that’ll give you a skin infection, or even just a reaction to the chlorine and other chemicals in the water.
Just know what you’re up against; and if you have a compromised immune system, you might want to skip it completely.