The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put out a warning to vacationers that one in three treated waterborne disease outbreaks between 2000 and 2014 originated in hotel pools and hot tubs. The report warned that clean looking water in pools, hot tubs and in hotel playgrounds can cause intestinal disorders. One can catch Legionella, a disease-causing bacteria that includes Legionnaire’s Disease, a pneumonia-like illness and an intestinal disorder caused by a parasite known as Crypto (Cryptosporidium).
Hotel and public swimming pools are more susceptible to infection. This is because there are typically large numbers of people using them. Beware of swallowing just a mouthful of water as if it contains Crypto it can take an otherwise healthy child and adult and make them sick for weeks with watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Chlorine placed in hot tubs and pools cannot kill Crypto quickly. It has to be kept out of the water in the first place. Never go into the water and don’t let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea.
Before you go into a hot tub or pool check out a posted inspection score.
Never swallow water. This may sound extreme, but if you have a test strip available, check the pool’s pH and chlorine levels.
Hotels have a duty to make sure their hot tubs and pools are not contaminated with disease-causing bacteria or parasites. A hotel has a duty to implement a program of disease prevention and control if they make hot tubs and pools available to the public.
Pool and hot tub filtration systems should be working and well maintained. The hotel should have the responsibility of testing the water each day. The bottom line message is — make sure that water is not inadvertently swallowed when you or your children are using a hotel pool or hot tub and, of course, always be an involved and observant caregiver.
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