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Your vacation choices might be making you sick, here's why

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 5:06 PM - Hotel pools and hot tubs were linked to a third of all swimming-related disease outbreaks between 2000 to 2014, a new CDC report finds.

During that stretch, a total of 493 outbreaks linked to chlorinated or treated water were reported in 46 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, the report said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results on Thursday in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In total, the outbreaks led to at least 27,219 illnesses and eight deaths, according to the report.

Cryptosporidium (also known as Crypto), Pseudomonas, and Legionella were responsible for many of the outbreaks at swimming venues during that 15-year period.

Crypto is a parasite that can survive even in properly maintained pools. Pseudomonas and Legionella are bacteria that can survive disinfectants in slimy areas of hot tubs, pools and water parks.

The CDC report also outlined tips on how to protect from germs while at public swimming areas:

  • Don’t swim or let your kids swim if sick with diarrhea. If Crypto is the cause of the diarrhea, wait until 2 weeks after diarrhea has stopped to go swimming.
  • Check the pools, hot tubs and water playground inspection scores.
  • Before getting in the water, use a test strip from your local retailer or pool supply store to check if the water’s pH and bromine or free chlorine level are correct.
  • Don’t swallow the water.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks hourly, and change diapers in a diaper-changing area and away from the water.

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