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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 3, 2013

Summer HazardWhat’s Lurking in Your Community Swimming Pool?

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Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2013;310(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7324

Swimmers may bring more than goggles and beach balls to community pools this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cautioned.

During the summer of 2012, county and state environmental health specialists in Georgia collaborated with the CDC to collect the contents in filters of 161 public and club swimming pools in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction testing showed that filter samples from 58% of the pools contained Escherichia coli, which indicates that fecal material was present. E coli was detected in 70% of municipal pools, 66% of water park pools, and 49% of pools at clubs or other places such as apartment complexes where access is restricted. Also, more than half of the filter samples tested positive for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause infections such as otitis externa or dermatitis if adequate disinfection of pool water isn’t maintained.

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