8 Dead from Hotels’ Dirty Little Secret
| Avoid this hotel “amenity” to keep your family healthy
(SF Gate) A new study from the CDC found that between 2000 and 2014, more than 27,000 people got sick from being in “recreational water” — swimming pools, hot tubs and water parks — and eight of them died.
“Hotels were associated with 157 (32%) of the 493 outbreaks,” the report said.
Of the outbreaks at hotels, the most significant cause – 43 percent — was Pseudomonas, which results in “hot tub rash” and “swimmer’s ear.”
Thirty-one percent of hotel outbreaks were attributed to Legionella, the cause of Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever.
Legionnaires’ disease — especially prevalent in hot tubs and spas — caused most of the deaths covered in the study.
Eighteen percent of the outbreaks came from Cryptosporidium, which causes gastrointestinal illness.
Most of these outbreaks shouldn’t happen if the hotel is doing its job in chlorinating the pool water.
Cryptosporidium is transmitted when a “diarrheal incident” occurs in the water.
“Chlorine is the primary barrier to the transmission of pathogens in treated recreational water,” the CDC said. “1 ppm, free available chlorine inactivates most pathogens within minutes.
Best advice: Don’t swallow pool water. Read the full story at SF Gate.
[Further advice: use an anti-bacterial mouthwash, blow your nose, and take a shower immediately after using a swimming pool, hot tub, or water park. If mouthwash is not available, plain water or water mixed with table salt is better than nothing. – Editor]