If you love to swim--or just enjoy an occasional splash in the summer--researchers have some interesting, if not a tad disturbing, news for you. We've talked about the germ-factor of public pools and hot tubs in the past, but the research on the subject isn't making us any more confident about it.
According to a large new study from Australian researchers, a dip in the public pool or local lake could increase your odds of catching the stomach flu.
The scientists found that more than 2,800 adults and children they followed for 15 months, participants were somewhat more likely to develop gastroenteritis (aka, a stomach bug) in the week or two following a public swim.
The study seems to show a correlation between swimming and a bunch of nasty bugs--including viral, bacterial or parasitic infections, all leading to stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Yeah, a little gross. Still, I'm not convinced that swimming is the evil one--yet. Just practice good hygiene, of course: Don't drink the water (duh), suds up afterward, and please don't go swimming when you're sick, when you're more likely to spread illness and catch illness as your immune system is already taxed.
Do you ever feel uneasy about public pools?
- *Germy? Maybe, but swimming does provide this health benefit ...
- *Brad and Angelina's little pool secret ...
- *The very germy facts about public hot tubs ...
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