Pools – Other Gastrointestinal Illnesses

Germs, or Recreational Water Illnesses, are often found in the places we swim and can cause gastrointestinal illness that cause diarrhea & vomiting. The CDC identifies diarrhea as the most common recreational water illness. People who have diarrhea can spread it to others when they swim. 

Three of the most common germs that cause waterborne gastrointestinal illnesses in Virginia are

  1. Cryptosporidium
  2. Giardia
  3. Vibrio

Other germs that cause waterborne gastrointestinal illness include:

Germs can get into the water in different ways: 

  • When they wash off of swimmers’ bodies
  • When swimmers have diarrheal incidents in the water
  • When rainwater runs off near local beaches and swim areas

How can swimmers protect themselves?

  • Don’t swim or play in water if you or your child has been sick with diarrhea in the past 2 weeks. 
  • Don’t swallow the pool water. Try to keep water out of your mouth. 
  • Shower BEFORE and AFTER swimming.