Sorry to ruin your vacation daydreams of sparkling hotel pool swims and romantic hot tub soaks, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just reported that hotel pools and hot tubs can cause infectious diseases. Public pools don’t have the best reputation for cleanliness, but according to the CDC’s study, hotel pools and hot tubs are even worse for your health than other shared pools.
The CDC’s report analyzed almost 500 disease outbreaks that were caused by pools, spas, and waterparks in the United States and Puerto Rico, and found that about one-third of those incidents occurred at hotels. The outbreaks sickened more than 27,200 people and killed eight. Common illnesses caused by the tainted swimming spots were Legionella (can cause pneumonia), Pseudomonas (can cause swimmer’s ear or skin rashes), and Cryptosporidium (causes contagious diarrhea).
Even if the hotels are following CDC recommendations for cleaning pools and hot tubs with disinfectants, Cryptosporidium can still survive in the water for over a week, and it infects swimmers who accidentally swallow the contaminated water.
Summer is the most dangerous time for swimming, with 56 percent of the outbreaks beginning between June and August.
So how can you enjoy the hotel pool and hot tub without getting sick? The CDC recommends that you don’t swim if you have diarrhea, check the hotel’s inspection score, and don’t swallow the water.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 9 Products to Help You Stay Healthy While Traveling
- Hookworm: The Disease That Could Ruin Your Beach Vacation
- Food Safety: How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling
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