According to a new report, most adults swim after having diarrhea. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
As Memorial Day approaches, the covers are coming off pools and people are getting ready to ~dive in~.
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Here to spoil all the fun: a new report that basically found out pools are full of diarrhea.
The survey, conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council, found the following:
- 1 in 4 adults (25%) would swim within one hour of having diarrhea.
- Half of adults (52%) seldom or never shower before swimming in a pool.
- 3 in 5 adults (60%) admit to swallowing pool water while swimming.
Before we get into these findings, let's quickly talk about pool germs. When you get in a pool, everything on your body — sweat, dirt, oil, bodily fluids — ends up in the water, like a big bathtub. So yes, most pools are full of germs, and for the most part it's not a big deal. We don't live in a sterile world and most germs are harmless. Plus, we have chemicals like chlorine to keep pools clean.
However, there are bad germs that you do not want in a pool — these are pathogens, or any bacteria, virus, or other organism that causes infection or disease. These can get in the pool from our bodies or fecal matter and infect other swimmers, leading to outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
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So apparently 1 in 4 adults would hop in a pool within an hour of having diarrhea — but you’re actually supposed to wait two weeks to avoid contaminating the pool.
Yes, two weeks sounds like a lifetime, but the CDC warns that this is the amount of time during which the body can shed diarrhea-causing pathogens that can make other people sick.
“Even if you feel better and you don't have symptoms, you can still be shedding millions, even billions, of diarrhea germs into the pool,” Kelly Reynolds, PhD, germ expert at the University of Arizona, previously told BuzzFeed Health.
Unfortunately, not many people know about the two-week rule nor do they follow it. Given that about 89 million people are swimming in pools each summer and 25% of adults would swim right after having diarrhea, that means the risk of contamination is pretty high. This is why it's key to shower before swimming and avoid swallowing pool water — but people don't always follow those rules either, which we'll get to in a bit.