What lurks beneath the surface in public pools?

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – There’s nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in the swimming pool on a hot summer day but according to Sparrow Pediatrician Tim Raghib, there could be bacteria lurking in the water that the eye can’t see.

“The most common ones that would cause symptoms or problems are going to be E. Coli, there’s a couple parasites called Giardia Kryptoseranime or Krypto that are very common,” said Dr. Raghib.

Dr. Raghib says regardless of how clean a swimming pool appears, there’s certain bacteria that chlorine chemicals won’t kill.

“With well-maintained pools its a risk but even with the pools that aren’t well maintained obviously that risk increases significantly,” Dr. Raghib stated.

So where does the bacteria come from? Dr. Raghib says skin rashes, open wounds and even diarrhea just to name a few.

“The CDC actually recommends if you’re having any symptoms of diarrhea to avoid being in the pool at all and in some cases with certain infections staying out of the pool for two weeks even after those symptoms have resolved,” said Dr. Raghib.

If a person becomes sick, they could experience multiple symptoms and Dr. Raghib recommends seeking medical attention immediately.

“The most common cause is going to be diarrhea and obviously from swallowing pool water you can also get skin infections, respiratory infections, people who are immune compromised pregnant woman, young children are the ones that are going to be more at risk for those types of infections,” Dr. Raghib added.

While it’s a fun warm-weather activity, Dr. Raghib urges swimmers to be wary and just stay vigilant of how clean the public pool appears.

“You should be able to see the bottom filter in the deep end and see if there’s painted pool lines…that should be really clear, it shouldn’t be cloudy at all,” said Dr. Raghib.

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