Public Urged To Use Healthy Swimming Practices

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Healthy Swimming Practices

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Springfield-Greene County Health Department urges healthy swimming behaviors to protect against recreational water illnesses.

"Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are the various illnesses caused by germs that can contaminate virtually all recreational waters, including pools, water parks, spray decks, rivers, lakes, and even oceans," says epidemiologist John Bos. "Swimming in a well-maintained swimming pool will reduce your likelihood of developing a RWI. However, some germs like the parasite Cryptosporidium, ("Crypto") are resistant to chlorine and can live in properly chlorinated pools for days. Crypto, like many other RWI causing germs, can be introduced into recreational waters by animals or by people, especially swimmers who are ill with diarrhea. It then spreads to other swimmers who swallow contaminated water."

Each year nearly 2,000 Americans become ill following outbreaks of waterborne illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Young children, senior adults, pregnant women and immunosuppressed persons are especially at risk for recreational water illnesses, but even healthy swimmers can be affected. This year, the third annual National Recreational Water Illness Prevention Week, May 21

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