Southeast Kansas Multi-County 
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Monthly Health Message



July 2019

Everyone loves the summer fun of swimming, but no one enjoys some of the illnesses that can happen after swimming. Diarrhea is the most common recreational water illness (RWI). Swimmers who are sick with diarrhea—or who have been sick in the last two weeks—risk contaminating pool water with germs. Diarrheal illnesses are caused by germs such as Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus and E-coli. These germs can live from minutes to days in pools, even if the pool is well-maintained. Some germs are very tolerant to chlorine and were not known to cause human disease until recently. Once the pool has been contaminated, all it takes is for someone to swallow a small amount of pool water to become infected. All swimmers should take the following easy and effective swimming steps:

Keep the pee, poop, sweat, and dirt out of the water!

  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.
  • Shower before you get in the water.
  • Don’t pee or poop in the water.
  • Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

  • Take kids on bathroom breaks.
  • Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area–not poolside–to keep germs away from the pool.
  • Reapply sunscreen

Remember we share the water- and the germs in it - with everyone! Have a safe summer.

Resource: www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming