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Swim safe and healthy this summer

It's not something you really want to think about when splashing around the pool. But germs are there too and some of the bacteria can make you sick.

Dr. Matthew Zahn, Asst. Professor of Infectious Diseases

"Anybody who gets into the water and swallows water is at risk."

Dr. Matthew Zahn is an assistant professor of infectious diseases at the University of Louisville. He says most pools practice good safety regulations, are very clean and provide the right amount of chlorine to stop certain germs.

Dr. Zahn continues

"Chlorine is fairly effective at reducing the likelihood that diseases will cause illness in chlorinated water. However, Cryptosporidium is a bacterium that can survive for days in chlorinated water."

These water illnesses are spread by swallowing, breathing, or having contact with contaminated water. The water can become contaminated, for example, when children have accidents in pools. Zahn says the most important thing you can do before getting wet is making sure you and your child are clean from top to bottom.

Dr. Zahn adds

"What's important to remember is it's not just the bacteria you're exposed to but how much of it you're exposed to."

These germs aren't only found in pools. Swimming in contaminated hot tubs, rivers, lakes, water fountains and the ocean can also spread these water illnesses.

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