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What you can catch in the public pool

Swimming is an affordable and popular form of mass sport. You can swim at any age, there are minimum contraindications for swimming in the pool, and the health benefits are huge. However, many are afraid to visit the public pool for fear of catching some kind of infection. How justified are such fears? Is it possible to get something in the public pool? And if so, how to protect yourself from infections as much as possible?

Where is the danger lurking?
Not at all in the water, as many people think. Water in a public pool is constantly disinfected, and the chances of catching an infection through water are low.

Wet surfaces are much more dangerous from this point of view: the floor near the pool and in the shower, rugs, pool sides, benches, as well as other personal hygiene products and towels. It is on them that the most pathogenic microorganisms settle.

What can and cannot be infected in a public pool?
Most often in the pool you can get a fungal infection (mycosis) – a fungus of the nails or feet. First, the fungus is contagious. Secondly, it is very common (according to various sources, 30 to 40% of people suffer from foot and nail mycoses, and up to 90% after 55 years) and it is difficult to get rid of it. Thirdly, fungal spores “love” a warm and humid environment, where they actively reproduce. So, the pool for them is the most fertile place.

In the pool, you can often get a fungus
Of course, a conscious citizen, if he has a fungus, will not go to the pool, so as not to endanger the health of others. But not everyone is so conscious, in addition, a person may not know that he is sick, especially at the beginning of the disease.

You can catch a fungus if you walk barefoot on the floor near the pool, in the shower, in the locker room.

The risk increases when a person has damaged skin on his legs (scratches, microcracks), his legs sweat heavily, and general immunity is reduced.
Warts are not just a cosmetic defect. This is a skin disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). In the pool, this virus can enter the body through damaged skin, for example, if you sat on the bench where a sick person was sitting, or walk barefoot on an infected floor.

More risk of getting HPV when using things of an infected person: washcloth, towel, etc.

Molluscum contagiosum
Under this name is a skin disease caused by a virus. It manifests itself in the fact that dense nodules form on the skin with a depression in the center.

The disease itself is not dangerous and, as a rule, goes away within six months – two years. But few people like ugly “acne” on the skin.

A molluscum contagiosum can be infected through water if viruses have got into it from a sick person, as well as through a household path through washcloths, towels, etc.
Acne and pustules
The water of the public pool may contain Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These microorganisms can cause acne and pustular rashes on the skin.

Try to swim carefully and do not swallow water
Intestinal infections
Pathogenic microbes that cause intestinal infections may be present in the pool water. Most often these are lamblia and dysenteric bacteria. You can become infected if you swallow water. But the risk of such infection is quite small. In the pool, the water is disinfected, and pathogenic microbes do not reach a high concentration.

A more likely way to become infected with such infections is to use common dishes. For example, if you drink water from the same bottle with an infected friend or girlfriend.

How to get infected in the pool is problematic?
Genital infections
You can’t catch a sexual infection in the pool, unless, of course, you practice sex there. Infection requires a high concentration of pathogenic microbes, and they quickly die in the chlorinated water of a public pool. In addition, for many infectious agents to enter the body, they must be literally rubbed into the mucous membranes.

These parasites enter the body through the mouth. To catch them in the pool, you must literally get drunk with water. In addition, worms and their eggs are very sensitive to disinfectants.

Doctors say that it is impossible to get lice through the water in the pool. The only way is to use a comb for a person with pediculosis (that’s what lice is called).

How not to get infected in the pool?
Choose the right pool
The risk of catching an infection in the pool is no higher than in other public places. The main thing is that its employees carefully comply with all sanitary and epidemiological requirements that apply to public pools.

The pool you visit should be cleaned regularly.
The water in the public pool should be of the same quality as drinking tap water.
Water is disinfected with chlorine, bromine, ozonized or irradiated with ultraviolet light.
Fresh water must constantly flow into the pool.
Regularly monitor water samples.
Disinfect the pool bath.
The pool is cleaned daily.
Every day, all rooms are disinfected, as well as handles on doors, benches, rugs, handrails in the pool.


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