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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Recreational Water Illness Recreation Water Illness is a sickness caused by germs and chemicals that are found in the water that we swim in. Description and Possible Complications Many people have been led to believe that chlorine kills germs instantly and that is not true. Once those germs enter the pool, swallowing even a little bit makes you sick. There are many types of RWI infections such as gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. The germs that are responsible for these infections are Crypto, E-coli, norovirus, giardia, shigella, pseudomonoas dermititis, and otitis externa. The most common RWI is diarrhea. Symptoms Symptoms of the most common RWI, diarrheal, include:- Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)-Vomiting, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss and fever-Other RWIs cause skin, ear, eye, and respiratory symptoms to occur. What is RWI? When one is infected with diarrheal RWI, the stool is immediately infected with germs from just one speck. When people swim while they are ill, they contaminate the water instantly. Lakes and rivers are contaminated with animal waste, sewage spills and water runoffs. Once one has swallowed the contaminated water they become sick. Other RWIs are spread naturally in the environment by water and soil. If the disinfectants in pools and hot tubs are not maintained at appropriate levels then the germs will progress to the point where the swimmer gets sick from breathing or coming in contact with the water. How are RWIs transmitted? Who is at risk? Swimmers, obviously but particularly children, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems are more prone to being infected. Diagnosis Recreational water illness have a couple of diagnostic tests. One is a microscopy where you inspect 3 stool samples searching for any bacteria in the fecal matter. This is very complex and time consuming because the organisms are very tiny and hard to see. Another is staining and the other is detection of antibodies. Relative Frequency RWIs are relatively frequent amongst children and their caregivers. The infections are usually common in the summer and early fall. The CDC reported that within the last two decades RWI outbreaks associated with swimming have substantially increased. From 2004 to 2008 cases increased over 200%. A case in 2010 reported that 1 in 8 public pool inspections reported in the pool being shutdown due to improper chlorine levels. Disease Course The course of this disease varies depending on the bacteria that's causing it. Some RWIs can be treated with antibiotics or anti fungal medications while others go away on their own as long as symptoms are being managed. The infection enters your body via swallowing, inhaling or physical contact and within two days after the symptoms begin to appear. Seeking medical attention at the onset of the illness is recommended. What can you do to prevent it? There are a few easy precautions to take to ensure avoiding RWIs.Swimmers: -Do NOT swim when you have diarrhea-Avoid getting any water in your mouth, do not swallow pool water-Practice good hygiene; shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the bathroom and or handling a diaper.When dealing with young children:- Take frequent bathroom breaks and always check diapers-Do not change diaper around pool area-Wash child thoroughly especially the rear end because invisible amounts of fecal matter are numerous and will infect the pool Katelyn ChismHealth Science 2 HonorsMs. Poole 2B3/4/15
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