sick in the fall and winter than summer, so we tend to be a little bit more careless during this time of the year. However, this is not true; your chances of getting sick during the summer are equality possible than any other season. In fact, because we spend so much time outdoors and, in the water, we are exposed to many agents that can cause illness.
People often get sick during the summer by exposure to agents during recreational water activities. These illnesses can be caused by several types of agents such as viruses, bacteria, algae, parasites, and even chlorine gas. Germs can get into the water in several ways: when sick people get in the water, when they wash off of swimmers' bodies, when swimmers have diarrheal episodes in the water, and even when rainwater flows into near beaches and swimming areas.
Symptoms of waterborne disease are principally gastrointestinal like in the case of cholera and schistosomiasis, but upper respiratory and skin conditions also occur. Gastrointestinal symptoms are usually not severe and can generally be managed at home. However, some diseases can be severe and should be treated by a doctor. Cryptosporidium and Giardia intestinalis is the most common cause of gastrointestinal illness and are somewhat chlorine resistance, which means that the chlorine in your pool will not kill it. Therefore, you may get infected if exposed to it.
Respiratory infections are also typically mild and self-managed. However, it can also cause complications, and death has been reported to be high as 10%. Additionally, cellulitis caused by Vibrio vulnificus can result in serious illness, amputation, and death. Therefore, early and proper antibiotic treatment is essential. Chronically ill and immunocompromised people are at high risk of infection and should be informed accordingly.
The CDC recommends the following simple yet effective ways to protect yourself and prevent waterborne illnesses:
Remember, if you become sick, it is always a good idea to visit your primary healthcare provider. Especially if you do not see improvement in one or two days or if you feel you are getting worse.
As always, I'm here to help, feel free to email me if you have any health-related questions at: Toni@Moongazingapothecary.com
Dr. Toni is a Best-selling author, Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP) & Registered Herbalist in San Diego, California. She holds a PhD in psychology, and a Clinical Herbalist Certificate, an HHP certificate and is a Certified Trainer in the Success Principles. In private practice as a HHP for over 14 years, she has been influenced by a variety of clinical modalities and orientations, and by the diverse life experiences of her clients. Toni’s approach to healing is holistic & transpersonal. In her work, she integrates the principles of Eastern and Western nutrition, herbololgy, energy medicine, Buddhist mindfulness and personal counseling to assist others in working through their physical or emotional blocks to attain optimal health.