National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week

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Recreational Water Illness Prevention

May 21-27, 2007 has been designated as National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week.

The goal this year is to highlight the importance of healthy swimming behaviors for preventing recreational water illnesses (RWI's). Outbreaks of recreational water illnesses continue to occur in the United States each year.

Sixty-two percent of these outbreaks are related to the chlorine resistant pathogen, Cryptosporidium which is introduced to the pool by swimmers who are ill with diarrhea and spread to other swimmers when they swallow the contaminated water.

People at risk include the young, elderly, pregnant woman and immunosuppressed persons, but even healthy swimmers can get sick from RWI's. Specific actions people can take to promote healthy swimming include:

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1. Do not swim when you have diarrhea

2. Do not swallow pool water

3. Shower before swimming

4. Wash hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers

5. Take children to bathroom breaks or change diapers often

6. Change children's diapers in a bathroom, not at poolside

"Mesa County Health Department

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