The US Centers for Disease Control has a frank (and gross) warning for Americans this summer: Don’t use the pool if you have diarrhea.
On Thursday, the CDC tweeted out their warning to not swim if you’re experiencing the effects of diarrhea and other intestinal-related illnesses this summer. The tweet linked to their guidance on what to do to protect yourself against poop in the pool.
"Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea," the tweet read. "One person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool."
The post also included a very gross gif of a cartoon child going down a waterslide with a brown streak following behind her:
Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea. One person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool. Learn more ways to keep you and those you care about healthy. #HealthySwimming https://t.co/3ogS3ZlQX6 pic.twitter.com/lbN6uvvufu
— CDC (@CDCgov) July 1, 2021
While as gross as this whole topic (and the gif) is, it's actually very good advice. According to the CDC guidance on diarrhea and swimming, fecal matter in water can spread germs such as E. coli that’ll cause even more diarrhea to whomever is infected.
To prevent the spread of these germs, the CDC recommends keeping out of pools, hot tubs, lakes, oceans, and rivers if you’re sick with diarrhea or if you’ve been diagnosed with Crypto, a parasite known to cause intestinal issues.
If you own a pool or a hot tub, you can use test strips to make sure that the water has high enough chlorine or bromine level to kill germs in the water. Also, be sure to shower and rinse off before you get into the water itself.
Hilariously, they also include advice like "don’t poop in the water" — which would be funnier if it wasn’t so disconcerting that they have to say anything at all.
READ MORE: Diarrhea and Swimming [CDC]
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