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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
November 21, 2007

Ocular and Respiratory Illness Associated With an Indoor Swimming Pool—Nebraska, 2006

JAMA. 2007;298(19):2257-2258. doi:10.1001/jama.298.19.2257

MMWR. 2007;56:929-932

2 tables omitted

On December 26, 2006, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) received a report of a child hospitalized in an intensive care unit for severe chemical epiglottitis and laryngotracheobronchitis after swimming in an indoor motel swimming pool. The pool was inspected the same day and immediately closed by NDHHS because of multiple state health code violations. NDHHS initiated an outbreak investigation to identify additional cases and the cause of the illness. This report describes the results of that investigation, which indicated that 24 persons became ill, and the outbreak likely was the result of exposure to toxic levels of chloramines*1,2 that had accumulated in the air in the enclosed space above the swimming pool. This outbreak highlights the potential health risks from chemical exposure at improperly maintained pools and the need for properly trained pool operators to maintain water quality.

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