Numerous people will head to lakes, rivers, swimming pools, and the beach this summer. But in addition to the drowning hazard bodies of water create, there lurks a less visible threat described by a new report that can also cause damage: the risk of a bacterial infection.
The risk is greater in natural bodies of water that obviously don’t benefit from the chlorine contained in swimming pools. Water might be contaminated with such things as shigella, Giardia, cryptosporidium, and more. These substances derive from animal (and let’s face it, even human) excrement that makes its way to the water.
Persons exposed to these things could suffer from rashes or incur diarrhea. But the threat becomes more serious when one swallows a mouthful of water. Kids are particularly susceptible to this, as adults tend to know better than to swallow pool or lake water. If someone suffers from an open wound, they would also be more likely to be exposed to the dangerous contaminants in the water.
Realize, though, that the threat isn’t limited to non-chlorinated water. Thus, you shouldn’t take to drinking the water or swimming with an open wound in such places either.
When you do swim, make sure to shower whenever you get out of the pool. Use soap at such times. And if you bring food along with you, don’t reach for it until you’ve had time to shower and wash your hands. All you’re doing otherwise is contaminating the food for everyone else.