Avoiding health risks in swimming pools this summer

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Center for Disease Control is warning people about waterborne illnesses just in time for summer.

Officials said one type of parasite can survive even in properly maintained pools!

The CDC said a third of outbreaks between 2000 and 2014 happened at hotel swimming pools and hot tubs, just like the Legionnaire outbreak that happened at the Guest House at Graceland last summer.

A dip in the pool at the Guest House proved to be fatal for 62-year-old Linda Gayle Godsey of Kentucky.

Godsey was among nine people who got sick with Legionnaires disease after visiting the hotel last summer. Health officials linked the outbreak to the hotel pool and hot tub.

"As we get closer to vacations and swimming pools we just want to be mindful of waterborne illnesses," said Laquanda Williams, an infectious control practitioner with St. Francis Hospital.

Williams said it's vital to seek medical attention if you've been in a hot tub or swimming pool and start experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms for Legionnaires.

"You would look for nausea, the vomiting, the G.I. symptoms," Williams said.

Another common parasite called "Crypto" is tough enough to survive chlorine or other disinfectants, according to the CDC.

It's spread when someone who is sick with the parasite has diarrhea that gets in the pool.

Experts said parents play a major role in keeping the parasite from spreading, but there is one way to protect yourself.

"So the major thing is not to swallow water, so if you can get in the pool and not swallow water that is the ideal thing you want to do," Williams said.

Check the pools or hot tub inspection score, and take kids on bathroom breaks hourly

WMC5 reached out to City of Memphis about their pool cleaning regimen but has not heard back yet.

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