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Health Risks of Contaminated Pools on Holiday

Jul 25, 2008
Bad weather conditions keep people off the beaches while on holiday, but there is always the hotel pool, right?

Wrong.

Villas with pools are typically a nice retreat for the British and Germans on holiday in Majorca - however, a recent test of pools at local villas and resorts in Majorca showed that one-fourth of them were contaminated.

Some pools were using too much chlorine, which has a bleaching effect on clothes and is irritating to the skin and eyes. Some pools had no disinfectants. Others still were contaminated with fecal bacteria.

Water Safety: What to Watch Out For in the Holiday Pool

When you think about water safety during holiday, people typically think of accidents in the ocean.

Pool water can be equally as dangerous though. Contaminants in the water, depending on which type, can cause irritation and rash, ear infections and even death.

E. coli is a real risk when swimming in water with fecal bacteria. Coming in contact with E. coli can cause urinary tract infections and vomiting. Long-term effects of some strands of E. coli are life threatening.

Be on alert for issues with the hotel pool. Start before you even leave for your trip. Check the local area you plan to visit to see if there are any outbreaks or health concerns.

You can even ask the hotel or villa when you make your reservation about the chlorine levels of the pool and how often the pool water is tested.

You can take a few precautions when sitting pool side as well. First, notice the color of the water. Is it green and mucky or crystal clear?

Also note if the pool seems to be cloudy. Ideally, you will be able to see the bottom of the pool floor.

Next, check to see if other visitors are following pool cleanliness rules. Don't go in a pool if you see people not showering before entering the pool or see babies in diapers in the pool.

Another time to avoid the pool (for the safety of others) is when you have diarrhea. Small amounts of fecal matter are potentially dangerous.

Other precautions for safe play in the pool include showering before and after using the pool and not taking the pool water into your mouth. Flush your eyes with clean water immediately if they burn from the pool water.

Outbreaks in Other Countries

Health risks don't stop at the pool and they certainly don't stop in Majorca.

In 2008 alone there have been instances of Malaria in the Bahamas, Yellow Fever in Argentina and in Paraguay, Enterovirus in China and the Avian Flu in Indonesia. Precautionary measures are suggested, such a mosquito repellent, vaccinations and avoiding certain areas of concern.

The bottom line is that changes in climate, humidity and altitude affect people in different ways.

A virus or infection that exists may not pose a risk to one person, but is potentially life threatening to the next.

Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to disease and infection. Unfortunately, expecting to get proper medical attention while in another country on holiday can be unrealistic.

Prevention is the best medicine. Less developed or modernized countries lack the medical knowledge and equipment most tourists are accustomed to.

Use common sense and always take safety precautions when travelling outside of your home country.
About the Author
More information about Majorca can be found at YourMajorca.net

The guide includes cheap Majorca flight airline offers and other holiday to Majorca details including companies who specialise in Majorca holiday villas
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