You may be familiar with the term “chlorine” when it comes to maintaining the freshness of your pool water. However, have you ever considered what organism may be lurking in the water around your pool? You may not want to find out the answer to that question. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the organism – it’s quite the opposite: it’s actually quite beneficial. Let’s take a quick look at what organism causes death in pool water and how you can keep your pool safe from it.
Botulism is a serious condition caused by eating undercooked, contaminated food. It’s most often associated with canned food, especially when consumed during the hot summer months. The disease is named after the botanical genus of the organism that causes it: Botulinum. According to the CDC, botulism can cause “paralysis of the muscles, resulting in difficulty swallowing and sometimes even danger of suffocation”. There is no known cure for botulism, and affected individuals usually require intensive care and lengthy recovery periods. The best way to prevent this disease is to always cook your food before eating it and ensure that the food you bring into your pool is already prepared and packed for consumption. It’s also advisable to always keep your food storage containers clean and free of any mold or moisture that could breed dangerous bacteria or fungi.
Giardia lamblia is another organism that can cause infection in humans and animals. It is a member of the parasitic protozoa group that also includes Giardia duodenalis, which causes human giardiasis. Like other members of its group, Giardia lambilia is excreted in feces and may contaminate the source of your pool water. Giardia Lamblia is most dangerous in very young children and the elderly. It is also referred to as the “water parasite” due to its attraction to and ability to colonize the intestine of water-holding organisms, especially amphibians and mammals. The disease can be difficult to diagnose because it can cause a number of gastrointestinal problems in humans. Nevertheless, it’s usually treated with medication or with a course of antibiotics. You can prevent Giardia Lamblia infection by regularly changing the water in your pool and cleaning the whole pool area, including its walls and skimmers, at least once a week.
Cryptosporidium is a genus of parasitic protozoans that can also cause serious gastrointestinal infections in humans. It is estimated that there are more than 200 different species within the Cryptosporidium genus, all of which can infect humans. While all species have the ability to infect humans, not all of them are pathogenic. The more usual hosts for Cryptosporidium are livestock, especially calves, although the organism can also be found in wild animals and birds. Once infected, humans can develop varying degrees of illness, ranging from asymptomatic to mild diarrhea to more severe cases of gastroenteritis. The best way to prevent Cryptosporidium infection is to regularly change the water in your pool, as the disease is often spread via contaminated water sources. You should also wash your fruit and vegetables before eating them, especially if you are growing them yourself, as picking them from the ground may have exposed the food to soil containing Cryptosporidium oocysts. Another thing you can do to prevent Cryptosporidium infection is to ensure all of your pool’s water is completely changed at least once a week and treated with chlorine.
Vibrio cholerae, commonly known as cholera vibrio, is a species of gram-negative bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea and even death in infants, elderly people, and people with weak immune systems – especially those who are also malnourished. The best way to prevent Vibrio cholerae infection is to drink only bottled water or purified water, preferably from a fridge or freezer. If you are unable to drink cold water, then you should consider heating it before consuming it. Food cooked in well-done steak can also harbor the bacteria, so it’s best to avoid consuming anything that is raw or undercooked. Vibrio cholerae can be found in warm waters around the world, mainly in countries where clean water is scarce. It’s also important to realize that not all strains of Vibrio cholerae are created equal, and some are actually more dangerous than others. While most people think of cholera when it comes to Vibrio cholerae, this species is actually quite versatile and can cause a number of different illnesses, depending on the type of environmental factors it encounters. Some experts even believe that climate change is making certain strains of Vibrio cholerae more virulent, which could make them harder for the human immune system to fight off.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is usually associated with infections of the skin and lungs. However, this species of bacteria can also cause gastrointestinal infections and sepsis in humans. It is one of the most common gram-negative bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tracts of people with diarrhea and in the water around pools and beaches. While symptoms of a P. aeruginosa infection are often mild, they can be quite severe in people with weakened immune systems or in those suffering from cystic fibrosis. It’s not entirely clear how the organism gets into the water around your pool, but it’s generally accepted that the larvae of some insects, especially flies, are able to vector the bacteria to humans and other animals. It is well known that the organism can become quite resistant to antibiotics, and, like other species of bacteria, it can also develop a resistance to heat. Fortunately, there are still a number of antibiotics that can effectively combat P. aeruginosa infections, and the organism does not appear to have developed any resistance to these drugs yet.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a bacterium responsible for more deaths worldwide than any other pathogen. It can infect the lungs and cause severe respiratory problems. It is also capable of infecting the brain and causing meningitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there were 10.4 million cases of TB and 1.8 million deaths due to the disease in 2017. While the actual numbers are worrisome, the fact that the disease can be “cured” with antibiotics is some consolation. However, the fact that this disease is “curable” does not mean it’s easy to diagnose or treat. In some cases, the disease can remain dormant for years before becoming active again. Also, drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis are on the rise, which makes the disease even more difficult to treat.
Legionella pneumoniae is a bacterium that is commonly found in pond and lake water around the world. It can also grow in hot springs, which is why swimming pools in hot springs resorts are particularly at risk of infection. Legionella pneumoniae is responsible for a number of water-related diseases, including Legionnaires’ disease, in humans. The disease is named after the Legionnaires, a secret society of French doctors that were tasked with studying and memorizing the symptoms of the disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia that develops after someone is exposed to the organism. The disease is usually caused by water droplets containing Legionella pneumoniae reaching the lower lungs of an individual. It is rarely fatal, but it can cause severe illness in people with weak immune systems or in those who are already suffering from a respiratory disease. There are a number of drugs that can treat Legionnaires’ disease, but it is usually fatal if not treated promptly with antibiotics. The best way to prevent Legionella pneumoniae infection is to regularly change the water in your pool and ensure that it is always filtered and treated with chemicals to prevent the growth of microorganisms in the water.
Amoebae are often mistaken for viruses because they lack the usual components that define a cell, including a nucleus and other organelles. This type of organism is quite harmless, but it can cause infection in people with open wounds or those on whom immunosuppressive agents have been administered. Amoebae are also known to be carriers of bacteria and parasites, so there is always the possibility of an individual contracting a disease from this source. Amoebae are easily found in natural water sources, such as ponds and lakes, but they can also be cultivated using liquid soil or by growing them in the laboratory – especially if you are doing so for medical purposes. The general rule of thumb is that you should not eat anything that has been in contact with raw sewage or amoebae-infested water. Amoebae can also be found in household appliances, such as dishwashers and refrigerators, so making sure these appliances are cleaned and maintained regularly can help prevent infections stemming from this source.