From infected skin to urine to poop, people are known to let out their waste in pools.
At public swimming facilities, continuous filtration and disinfection of water should reduce the risk of spreading germs. However, swimmers may still be exposed to germs during the time it takes for chlorine to kill germs (certain germs take longer to kill than others) or for water to be recycled through filters.
According to the CDC, every year, thousands of water-associated outbreaks get reported, all stemming from poop-related bacteria.
Diarrhoea is the most common recreational water illness (RWI), and is most commonly caused by cryptosporidium parasites. Crypto as the parasites are called, can stay alive for days even in well-maintained pools. When these parasites enter your body, they travel to your small intestine and then burrow into the walls, making you go to toilet regularly for as long as two to three weeks.
It is so important to stay out of the pool if you are sick with diarrhoea, shower before swimming, and avoid swallowing pool water.
Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestines and is passed on through poop, and it can survive up to 45 minutes even in the most highly chlorinated pools. Giardia parasites are found in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams worldwide, as well as in municipal water supplies, wells, cisterns, swimming pools
and water parks.
Once infected with giardiasis, get ready for lots of diarrhea, gas, greasy, floating stool, cramps, and dehydration.
More tips for avoiding infection are:
Non-toilet trained infants should only swim in a dedicated toddler pool; Children must wear swimmers at all times and non-toilet trained infants must wear tight fitting waterproof over-pants; Nappies must not be worn while swimming; Nappies must be changed only in designated change rooms and disposed of in bins provided; on-toilet trained infants should be taken to the toilet frequently.
Shigellosis is an infection of the intestines caused by shigella bacteria which are spread through direct contact. This happens when bowel movement from an infected person gets into the mouth of another person. An infected person can spread the bacteria while he is sick and for up to 2 weeks after
Add to that to fever and stomach cramps that usually start a day or two after exposure. Shigella will clear itself up in five to seven days, and some people who are infected may not have any symptoms at all.
The highly contagious Norovirus infection can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Be careful if you're going on a cruise, because this is the virus that's responsible for most of the horrifying cruise ship stories we hear each year.
It is spread by contaminated food or water. And yes, pool water counts. Norovirus infections can be prevented by using good hand hygiene with soap and water (not alcohol solutions) and avoiding contact with sick individuals and their environment.
You can get E. Coli in your lower intestine in many ways, and contaminated swimming water is definitely one of them. Especially if that swimming water is contaminated with infected poop, which it very well could be considering how many people seem to get diarrhea from infected swimming pools. When you have it you will experience severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps for five to 10 days.