Infections associated with swimming pools

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sent out several alarms on the increased number of infections associated with swimming pools and recreational swimming. Statistics from CDC showed that the outbreak of Cryptosporidium infections doubled in two years, from 2014 to 2016 in the US. Cryptosporidium is one of the several microorganisms that can cause infections that can make one sick for as long as three weeks.

Some of the microorganisms that can cause swimming pool-related infections are brought to light in this article. The way the different infections manifest and can be contracted are also highlighted in this article.


Species of Cryptosporidium including Cryptosporidium parvum can cause swimming pool and other recreational swimming-related infections. The type of infection caused by this type of organism is known as cryptosporidiosis.

The increased prevalence of Cryptosporidiosis linked to the fact that the infection could be asymptomatic. Also, the organisms can produce oocytes, a highly resistant reproductive form of the organism. The oocytes produced can survive in the presence of chlorine hence their ability to thrive in chlorinated swimming pool water.

Some of the symptoms presented in the symptomatic form of cryptosporidiosis are diarrhea, malaise and vomiting. A gulp of pool water infected with Cryptosporidium is all it takes to contract the infection that can persist for up to three weeks.


One can come in contact with the different species of Shigella that cause shigellosis when they swim in contaminated pools. When the organisms find a means of penetrating the outer barriers of the body such as the skin and attach to internal body surfaces, they can easily proliferate and cause bacillary dysentery which is manifested in different symptoms including fever, cramps and vomiting.

The infective dose of Shigella is another cause of concern as it as low as 10. The infective dose of Shigella ranges from 10 to 100.

 Escherichia coli

The several strains of E. coli including E. coli H157: 07 are known to cause diarrhea which could be severe and lead to renal failure. The infective dose of this group of organisms especially E. coli H157: 07 is also noteworthy as it is very low.

Swimming in contaminated recreational waters is a means of coming in contact with the different species of E. coli and probably coming down with severe diarrhea.

Giardia enteritis

Giardia enteritis, a protozoon, causes Giardiasis which is majorly asymptomatic and can be contracted from infected swimming pools. When the disease is symptomatic, its symptoms include bloating, abdominal cramps and weight loss.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that one can contract by swimming in contaminated waters. The virus is commonly related with raw sewage and swimming pools with any form of interaction with raw sewage can be infected with the virus. Hepatitis A infections can lead to jaundice and are also associated with poor hygiene practices.

Swimming is a relaxing and fun recreational activity. However, swimming in contaminated water can cause any of the infections highlighted above.


Primary Medical Care Center is an Urgent Care Miami provider serving Miami-Dade and Broward County with Two Convenient Locations. Call Now: 305-751-1500 or visit us (11500 NW 7th Ave., Miami, FL 33168, 2412 N State Road 7, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33313).