The weather is getting warmer, which means more outdoor activities such as swimming. An article published earlier this week in the Huffington Post discussed the health risks associated with hot tub use.
Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, can be contracted from a hot tub when water vapor, contaminated with Legionella bacteria, is breathed while using the tub. An individual can also contract Pontiac fever from Legionella, a milder flu-like illness.
Another waterborne pathogen discussed in the article, Pseudomonas aeruginos, is bacteria that can thrive in environments such as hot tubs. Individuals can become symptomatic with “hot tub rash” due to bacterial exposure when disinfectant levels in the water drop below a certain level. Chemical disinfectant levels fall easily in this environment because people do not typically shower before jumping into a hot tub; because of this, disinfectants need to work against bacteria from people as well as waterborne pathogens.
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