Can recreational water, such as spas or hot tubs, swimming pools, rivers, lakes or rivers, be responsible for making people who enjoy them ill? The answer to this question is “Yes”. The water in each and everyone of these recreational water sources is capable of being contaminated with bacteria,viruses and parasites that enter the human body, usually through ingestion, and can make that person ill.
What are recreational water illnesses? Recreational water illnesses are illnesses such as Shigella, Norovirus, Cryptosporiium, Giardia and Eschericha coli. These illnesses cause the the person who contracts them to suffer with diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, fever and chills, nausea and vomiting as well as weight loss and dehydration. Other less common symptoms that have been reported are skin infections, eye infections, respiratory infections, neurological infections and infection in wounds. None of these symptoms are worth a little time spent in one of these recreational water sites and what is scariest about the whole situation is that there is no way for the common person to tell if the water they are considering enjoying is actually contaminated, especially if the recreational water site is a river or lake that has no controls. Swimming pools and hot tubs are easier to control or to take preventative measures with.
How do recreational water illnesses occur? Recreational water illnesses can occur when a person swallows, breaths, or has contact with swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans contaminated with one of these parasites, viruses or bacterium. Swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans or other recreational water locations become contaminated when a person with one of these recreational water illnesses contaminates it by swimming in it or by playing in it or by contaminated sewage runoff entering the body of water.
Can people prevent recreational water illnesses? That is a question that I don’t really know the answer to. In some situations, such as swimming pools or hot tubs, I would think that the answer is definitely yes, but with water that occurs naturally, such as a river, I don’t see how that could ever be treated. There are just too many variables to consider when discussing a river or even a lake that has a river or other tributaries that feed it. So, what is the answer to preventing recreational water illnesses? The answer would be to prevent runoff from feedlots and those type of situations and for people who have already contracted one of these illnesses from entering any of the recreational water supplies throughout the nation.