More and more people are looking for swimming pools, water parks, and water playgrounds to escape the heat. However, even if you can forget the heat while playing in the water, you must remember that various diseases lurk. Find out what are the typical diseases that can occur in swimming pools, and how to prevent and cope with them.
Various diseases lurk in swimming pools that many people useㅣSource: Getty Image Bank
1. Infectious enteritis
Swimming pool water looks clean at first glance, but in fact, numerous water-borne bacteria are targeting our bodies. Bacteria living in swimming pools include Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, E. coli, etc. In particular, Cryptosporidium can survive for several days even in a swimming pool disinfected with chlorine.
In fact, in 2022, a group of suspected enteritis patients occurred at a water park in Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do, and as a result of investigation, norovirus was detected in 10 out of 21 patients. Also, last June, there was an emergency closing of a water park opened in Hanam due to feces floating around.
To prevent contagious gastroenteritis from swimming pools, avoid drinking pool water as much as possible. In addition, healthy people must shower before entering the swimming pool, and if they have a stomachache or diarrhea, they should not go to the swimming pool for the health of others. In particular, if you are accompanied by infants, you must check every 30 minutes to see if the baby has defecated or urinated in a swimsuit.
If symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and fever appear after going to the swimming pool, infectious enteritis should be suspected. If diarrhea lasts more than 2-3 days, dehydration symptoms are likely to appear in young children, so you should continue to drink water and seek a hospital as soon as possible.
2. Otitis media, otitis externa
Water may get into your ears while playing in the water or swimming. At this time, if you do not drain the water properly or if you rub hard with a cotton swab, wounds and inflammation occur in the ear, causing ear diseases such as otitis media and otitis externa. In order to prevent these ear diseases, it is good to wear earplugs to prevent water from entering the ears, and if water enters the ears, tilt the head toward the water instead of picking the ears, and the water will naturally fall out. After draining the water, dry it well with a hair dryer so that the inside of the ear is not damp.
If otitis media is neglected and develops into a chronic condition, it can affect the ear itself as well as the brain and neck. Therefore, if symptoms such as deafness, headache, or ringing in the ears appear after going to the swimming pool, you should visit an otolaryngologist. In particular, children are more likely to develop otitis media than adults. This is because the shape of the ear canal is shorter and wider than that of adults, and it is close to horizontal, so it is easy for germs to travel through the ear tube to the ear. In the case of infants, otitis media should be suspected if they do not sleep well, are fussy, keep touching their ears, or have discharge from the ears.
3. Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
If your eyes are red after playing in the water and you have a lot of mucus, you should suspect epidemic conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis caused by swimming pools is caused by an adenovirus that inflames the cornea or conjunctiva that surrounds our eyes. In order to prevent epidemiological keratoconjunctivitis, it is recommended to wear water glasses when playing in the water and not to wear contact lenses. This is because it is easy for viruses and bacteria to adhere to the gap between the lens and the eye when wearing contact lenses. Also, avoid rubbing your eyes.
To prevent epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, it is good to wear water glasses when playing in the waterㅣSource: Getty Image Bank
When epidemiological keratoconjunctivitis occurs, the eyes are congested, mucus and tears increase, and the eyes feel itchy or foreign body. It usually occurs in one eye first and spreads to the other eye a few days later. Treatment aims to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications such as secondary infection through symptomatic treatment, such as a cold, as there is no specific antiviral drug for adenovirus so far.
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