What you can catch when swimming and how to avoid it
As soon as warm days are set, the first most seasoned citizens open the bathing season. Well, when the heat comes, literally everyone rushes to the water. On such days, every pond, whether it’s a river, a lake or an elementary pond, on an equipped beach or just on a lawn by the water, literally has nowhere to fall an apple. Both old and young swim: the little ones flounder in shallow water, the older ones squeal with screaming and screaming, swim and dive deeper, experienced swimmers swim away from the coast, and even older people enjoy swimming in cool water.
This is perhaps the most common infection that can be picked up in our latitudes. Pathogenic microorganisms: viruses, bacteria, protozoa – live in water, and in sand, and in the ground. You can get infected by swallowing water or through dirty hands, for example, digging in the sand.
What intestinal infections threaten us on the beach? It:
rotavirus infection, it is also intestinal flu;
Escherichiosis (Escherichia coli);
Damage to the gastrointestinal tract is characteristic of all these infections: abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, nausea, and temperature may rise. The main danger is dehydration. True, most of these infections can be cured quite simply and quickly, including cholera, however, rest will be badly damaged.
Along with these intestinal infections, bathing can lead to more serious illnesses.
Viral hepatitis A (Botkin’s disease) and E are transmitted through water. True, it is more likely to get hepatitis A or E in hot countries, but in Russia there is such a risk.
Hepatitis viruses infect liver cells and cause inflammation. These infectious diseases are manifested by jaundice, fever, pain in the right hypochondrium, digestive upset (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). It takes a long time to be treated, then you need to follow a diet and be under the supervision of a doctor. The most unpleasant thing is that hepatitis can give complications to the liver and kidneys.
This is a serious bacterial infection, its carriers are animals, both wild and domestic. You can get infected not only by swallowing water when bathing, but also when leptospirosis bacteria enter the wounds on the skin. Especially dangerous in this regard are small ponds with stagnant water.
The infection does not appear immediately, it may take one to two weeks before the first symptoms appear. Then a sharp rise in temperature to 40 degrees, muscle and headaches, weakness, thirst, nausea with vomiting.
Recovery occurs only after a month, but the disease can begin in the second round, however, already in a milder form.
The consequences of leptospirosis can be quite severe: visual impairment up to blindness, muscle weakness, damage to the nervous system.
You can also become infected with worms when swimming, although such cases are quite rare. This can happen if you swallow helminth larvae with water. Dirty ponds are especially dangerous in this regard.
For a child, the real threat of being infected with worms is digging in the ground or sand.
Symptoms of helminthic invasion – flatulence, skin itching and rash, loss of appetite, poor sleep.
When swimming, and especially walking barefoot on the beach, you can also get infected with mycosis – a fungal infection. Fungi get into the water from infected people. The fungus affects primarily the feet and toenails. Symptoms of mycosis are flaky skin, discoloration and thickening of nails.
Why not be afraid
When swimming, you can not get infected:
sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections;
HIV infection and AIDS;
hepatitis B and C.
These diseases are transmitted either through sexual contact or through the blood.
Another “horror story” is horse hair, a round worm that lives in fresh water. They say that hair can penetrate through the skin into the human body and make its way to the heart, eating all organs along the way. This is complete nonsense. Horse hair is absolutely harmless to humans. And he really can’t penetrate the skin. Of course, it can be accidentally swallowed with water, but there will not be much harm from this.
How to avoid danger
Choose running water with clean water. Bathing in small ponds, especially if there is a crowd of people, it is better to avoid.
Overgrown pond with mud – not the best place for swimming.
Avoid swallowing while swimming.
After bathing, take a shower and change if possible. At least rinse your face and wash your hands.
Do not bury in the sand and do not let children do it, especially if there are cuts and wounds.
Do not swim where the “Bathing is prohibited” ad hangs. It is likely that the water was checked there and pathogenic microorganisms were found.
Avoid ponds where geese, ducks, swans swim. Parasites live in such water.
You should not choose a place for watering animals for swimming. It’s easy enough to catch an intestinal infection.
Do not swim if there is a landfill nearby, and also where a gutter is laid in a pond.