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Infectious Diseases

Shigellosis outbreak/swimming

08/17/2001

Question:

On the news I have been hearing about a Shigellosis outbreak in Cincinnati. At our swim club new signs have been posted in the locker room about washing hands and about the outbreak. I believe there may have been a few cases at our swim club. I have been making sure that my school age kids wash hands frequently and while at the pool stop to wash hands before having a snack. My questions is about the baby, 11 months old. On the poster I saw from the Health District it said that babies should stay out of the water. Does this mean all babies or just the ones who have had Shigellosis? There are only a few weeks left before the outdoor pool closes so I would like for us to still enjoy the pool but should I keep the baby out of the water?

Answer:

The answer is - do not swim or take your children swimming if you/they have diarrhea. Chlorine kills most germs,but it can take several hours to several days to do so. Other prevention measures include making children take frequent restroom breaks. It is strongly recommended that children in diapers not swim in public swimming pools.

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Response by:

Pamposh   Kaul, MD Pamposh Kaul, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati