Even if you have your own private swimming pool, reading about Recreational Water Illnesses can be pretty disconcerting. So after a series of 4 posts about those frustrating possibilities (See parts 1, 2, 3 & 4), we thought we’d give you some good news! Contrary to some people’s assumptions, the following ailments cannot be transmitted through pool water: head lice, MRSA, and pinworm infections. Not sure you’re convinced? You can read more in the paragraphs to follow.
While head lice actually have the ability to survive in chlorine levels like those of swimming pools, they’re highly unlikely to spread through the water. Lice thrive on their attachment to human hair, so they’re not very likely to let go, even if the hair is immersed in water. Head lice do like to jump to fabrics and other such surfaces, though, so there is the possibility of their spreading from one person to another through the use of shared towels. As long as you retain a strict “no sharing” policy when it comes to towels, swim caps, or hair care tools and accessories, you don’t really have to worry about the spread of lice.
On a side note, if a person’s hair has recently been treated with anti-lice shampoo, immersing their hair in pool water can keep the treatment from working effectively, so it’s best to stay out of the pool in that situation for at least a few days.
MRSA Staph Infections
MRSA, or “staph” for short, is an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus that spreads easily through uncovered cuts and scrapes. Similar to the scenario described above regarding head lice, MRSA can’t be spread directly through water, but it can spread from person to person through sharing contaminated surfaces and such. One major difference between the spread of head lice and that of MRSA is that MRSA can’t survive in properly maintained pool water — at least not for very long.
In case you’re not familiar with the symptoms of MRSA, this infection appears similar to spider bites, with sores on the surface of the skin that look like boils or pustules. These swollen sores can become warm to the touch and can be quite painful. MRSA sufferers often have fevers in addition to the sores on their skin.
Like head lice, pinworms are able to survive in chlorinated water; however, you don’t have to worry about pinworm infections spreading through your pool water. Pinworm infections are caused by swallowing pinworm eggs, usually after contact with contaminated surfaces. Even though the eggs can survive in typical pool water, it’s highly unlikely that a person would swallow any, even if they did swallow some pool water.
Children are the most likely to become infected, so it’s important to promote hand washing and other grooming habits, such as keeping fingernails short and clean and bathing frequently as well as regularly changing underwear, pajamas, and swimsuits.
Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.