All environments characterized by the presence of water and humidity represent a fertile ground for the proliferation and transmission of pathogens of various kinds. We therefore think of recreational facilities such as swimming pools, spas, wellness centers, and thermal baths. In these places, it is necessary to carry out correct disinfection to avoid the risk of infections inside them.
The microorganisms present in these environments can be introduced in various ways; in most cases, the risk of infections is attributable to fecal contamination of the water.
Contamination can be caused by the users of the facilities themselves, it can derive from contaminated waters at the source, or, in the case of outdoor pools, from the fecal materials of animals, such as birds or rodents. Water, therefore, represents the main source of contamination, it is in fact from here the transmission of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa can start in two ways:
- enteric route: by ingesting infected water;
- by non-enteric route: by inhaling the infected water (for example while diving or diving), or in contact with contaminated surfaces, such as on the edge or on the bottom of the pool, ladders, slides, trampolines, etc.
In addition to pathogens of an enteric nature, i.e., coming from the intestine, humans can also release non-enteric microorganisms into the water and surrounding environment of swimming pools. In this case, contamination occurs not only through water but also through contact with the surfaces and materials of the structure. As a result, anyone who touches contaminated surfaces is at risk of contracting an infection.
We at AMIL Care think it is important to dedicate an article to the topic, useful for all those involved in the sanitization and maintenance of public and private systems and swimming pools.
What infections can you catch in the pool?
The most common microorganisms in environments characterized by humidity and high temperatures can cause infections that manifest themselves above all at the epidermal level, but not only.
Let’s see which are the most common pathogens in these environments, dividing them by their origin, fecal and non-fecal.
Viruses of fecal origin
- Hepatitis A
Bacteria of fecal origin
- Shigella spp.
- E. Coli 0157
Let’s focus on pathogens of non-fecal origin, which can also be transmitted by direct contact between people and surfaces. Here is a list of the most popular:
- Molluscipoxvirus: This virus is responsible for molluscum contagiosum, a skin disease. It is transmitted by person-to-person contact or with contaminated surfaces, such as the edge of the tub, the towels, or the seats around the tubs.
- Papillomavirus: The main source of the virus is represented by infected people. To prevent it, it is important to properly sanitize the surfaces, which could otherwise become a vehicle for transmission. Papillomavirus causes warts, especially on the feet, and benign skin tumors.
- Adenoviruses: There are more than 50 types of Adenoviruses, which can have both fecal and oral origins, and are transmitted by contact with infected surfaces.
- Legionella spp: Legionella bacteria proliferate at temperatures above 25 degrees. The risk of legionellosis is associated with the spread of these bacteria in tanks, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa: is a Gram-negative bacterium that is transmitted through contact with infected people and surfaces. Among the ailments it can cause are folliculitis, otitis, urinary tract, respiratory and corneal infections. Regular cleaning of surfaces can help reduce the risk of contracting infections caused by these bacteria.
- Staphylococcus spp: Contact with people and surfaces infected by this bacterium can cause infections of the skin, urinary tract, eyes, and otitis externa.
- Epidermophyton floccosum: Together with other species of fungi of the genus Trichophyton it can cause infections of the hair, nails, or skin, including the skin infection of the feet which is commonly called “athlete’s foot” (Tinea pedis). Tinea pedis can be contracted through person-to-person contact, but also with surfaces contaminated by fragments of infected skin, for example in showers and changing rooms.
How to avoid catching infections in the pool?
From the list of microorganisms that we have listed, it is easy to deduce how the protection of the health of users, but also of workers, of swimming pools, spas, and other similar structures also depends on accurate sanitization of the surfaces.
Obviously, the filtering and disinfection of water is an essential and fundamental element in guaranteeing the safety of these structures, but the importance of sanitizing the rest of the surrounding environments should not be underestimated, especially shared ones, such as showers, bathrooms, and changing rooms.
To reduce the infectious risk in places such as swimming pools, thermal centers, and spas, it is therefore necessary:
- carry out periodic checks of the disinfectant concentrations in the tank water;
- check the efficiency of the filtration system;
- promote among users the use of slippers in the showers and not to exchange personal items (such as towels);
- carry out a thorough cleaning of the walkable surfaces (especially to avoid the risk of contracting Papilloma virus and Tinea pedis), those surrounding the pools, and shared spaces.
Sanitization for swimming pools and hot-humid environments with AMIL Care
The AMIL Care offer presents solutions for all environments for public use – swimming pools, spas, sports centers, thermal and wellness centers, etc. – which require adequate sanitation and sanitation in line with current regulations. These are certified and cutting-edge solutions, able to guarantee a high level of sanitization. The AMIL Care products designed for these sectors include the Teknobios and Maxibios micro-nebulizer devices, associated with a range of sanitizing detergents, designed for different needs.
The Teknobios and Maxibios devices are available in several variants, which respond to different needs, for example where the minimum size is needed, or on the contrary, where large volumes have to be covered.
AMIL Care’s expertise in the sanitation and sanitation sector is reflected in its products, which comply with validated and certified protocols, also particularly suitable for sanitizing environments for public use for the prevention of infectious risk in swimming pools and hot-humid environments in general.