With the arrival of the summer heat and the start of the normalization process, holiday plans began to be made. Experts announced that the coronavirus will not be transmitted from the sea or pools, but there are other infections that we can get from pools! Istanbul Okan University Hospital Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Specialist Prof. Dr. Nail Özgüneş explained.
Pools and seas do not carry coronavirus
If we are going to a holiday region where the sea can be benefited; Regardless of the environment we are in, we have to stay away from people at a certain distance (as we know, this can be up to two meters), including beaches. The extraordinarily large seawater cannot be a reservoir for viruses. In this regard, from sea water, even from pool waters; The coronavirus cannot reach humans. Essentially, such viruses; they are sensitive to excessive humidity and wetness and it is not an advantage for them, on the contrary, it is an advantage for us. In this respect, there is no obstacle for you to benefit from the seas. During our holiday; It is a fact that if we avoid behaviors that will harm our health, follow the social distance rule, eat well and take care of ourselves, we will always be more advantageous against this challenging virus.
Swimming pools facilitate the spread of some infections with the effect of heat and humidity. Inappropriate use of chlorine-based substances used in disinfection of pool water causes irritations, corneal surface defects and weakening of the eye's immune system. Symptoms include burring, redness, blurred vision, itching, burning and stinging. People with an infection in their eyes should not use the pool until their symptoms improve, considering the health of other pool users. Lens wearers should not enter the pool with their lenses. Severe eye pain may be due to various infections in people who enter the pool with their lenses. For this reason, it is important to use pool goggles when entering the pool or sea.
digestive tract infections
Digestive system infections are at the forefront of infections transmitted from pools, and this situation manifests itself with nausea or diarrhea. Since a wide variety of viruses and bacteria, including Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Salmonella, Shigella, E. Coli (Tourist's Diarrhea), can maintain their vitality for a long time in pools where water circulation and chlorination are insufficient, it occurs when the pool water containing these microbes is swallowed.
Genital area and urinary tract infections
Urinary tract infections, mostly caused by unsuitable pools, and vaginitis in women are also common and disturbing infections. These infections are manifested by symptoms such as burning during urination, frequent urination, low back and groin pain, pain in the genital area, itching and discharge. Genital warts (HPV) can also be transmitted from pools.
Skin infections and fungi
Some skin infections and fungi can be transmitted through the pool. Chief among these are genital warts and 'molluscum contagiosum'. It is known that sweating, which increases with heat, facilitates fungal growth in summer. Pool water with excessive amounts of chlorine can cause skin irritation in some sensitive people. Skin diseases such as scabies and impetigo can also be transmitted from unhygienic environments or unclean towels.
External ear infections and sinusitis
An outer ear infection is a condition caused by water-loving bacteria and sometimes fungi. It causes severe ear pain, ear discharge and hearing loss, itching and, in advanced cases, swelling and redness in the ear. As a result of staying in the water for a long time or getting water in the ear, the risk increases. At the same time, the bacteria in the water, if any, can reach the sinuses through the nose and cause sinusitis.
So what should we do to avoid these infections?
- Do not enter pools where you think that chlorination and water circulation are not sufficient.
- Be careful not to swallow any water in the pool. Do not chew gum while swimming, especially when chewing gum, as water can be swallowed.
- Prefer facilities with separate children's pools and adult pools.
- Do not sit for a long time in a wet swimsuit, be sure to dry it.
- Prefer facilities where feet are washed with antiseptic solutions before entering the pool area, where it is mandatory to take a shower and use a swimming cap before entering the pool.
- After getting out of the pool, take a shower and get rid of possible germs and excess chlorine and wear clean clothes.
- Dry off as soon as you get out of the pool because humidity is very important in the development of some bacteria, infections such as scabies and fungi.
- Always use earplugs when entering the pool.
- Avoid swimming in the pool if you have an active ear infection or have a tube inserted in your ear.
- To prevent sinusitis, use a nasal plug or cover your nose with your hand while diving into the pool or jumping into the water.
- In terms of eye infections, it is useful to minimize contact with pool water and to use swimming goggles for this purpose.