CDC: Fecal bacteria common in many public swimming pools

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Associated Press

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 8:00 AM

ATLANTA- U.S. health officials say fecal bacteria has been found in more than half the water samples taken from 150 public pools in the Atlanta area.

Pools where young children in diapers are common had the worst problem.

"I think based on the outbreaks we see occurring regularly this is a national problem. That we see outbreaks of diarrhea illness occurring on a regular basis which says that people are contaminating pools on a regular basis ...," said Michael Beach, assistant director of Health and Water at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To stop contamination, Beach suggested a pre-swim shower, no swimming if they've been ill with diarrhea and that parents need to their children on regular bathroom breaks.

Proper chlorine and pH levels in the water should kill any bacteria.

The study did not look at water parks and pools at private homes and officials said the study does not allow CDC to make conclusions about all pools in the United States. However, it is unlikely that swimmer-introduced contamination, or swimmer hygiene practices, differ between pools in the study and those in the rest of the country.

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