Getting to Know Some of the Protozoal Infections That You Can Get From Poorly Maintained Waters

by Pool Builders on 12-31-2008 in Articles

Our world is filled with various microorganisms. They are so minute that it is impossible to see them with our naked eye. The only way you can visualize them is to get a sample of the infected part, may it be debris from wound or blood, and put them under the microscope. Sometimes, you will need a die or a solution to identify their structures, before you can even conclude that it is bacteria, virus or a protozoan. But you probably know all about this. What you do not know is that these little creatures can have easy access to your body when your immune system is down and when you have wounds in your body. This is your susceptibility. There is increased susceptibility to infection when you are in a swimming pool. When your waters are not properly treated, your susceptibility is multiplied.

Protozoans are also one of the culprits in causing infection in swimming pools. Although these microorganisms serve a valuable role in our food chain, invasion in our bodies is extremely scary, most especially for kids. They can proliferate in your pool pebble waters if not properly treated. To get to know some of its effects, here are the common pool diseases that can be derived from protozoal infection:

Giardiasis

Other name: beaver fever/ backpackers diarrhea
Etiologic Agent: Giardia Lamblia
Tests Involved to Confirm: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (or ELISA is the latest development), Entero test and stool exam
Signs of infection: loss of appetite, fever, diarrhea, hematuria (blood in the urine), stomach cramps, flatulence (excessive gas expelling) and bloating

Cryptosporidium Enteritis

Other name: Cryptosporidiosis
Etiologic Agent: Cryptosporidium parvum
Test Involved to Confirm: Antibody test, Stool Exams, Acid Fast Bacilli staining
Signs of Infection: Starts out as asymptomatic (meaning no symptoms at all) then could further progress to diarrhea, abdominal cramping, feeling of tiredness and malnutrition

Amoeba meningoencephalitis

Other name: none
Etiologic Agent: Acanthamoeba spp. and Naegleria fowleri
Test Involved to Confirm: Microscopic Examination of Cerebrospinal Fluid
Signs and Symptoms: headaches, stiff necks, confusion, loss of balance, seizures, nausea and vomiting, fever and even worse, death

All of these etiologic agents can easily spread in a low maintained pool. Normally you can use chlorine to fight them off. However, the most difficult to treat is the Cryptosporidium parvum which is known to chlorine resistant. One way or another, there will always be alternative treatment to put out nasty and stubborn protozoa in your pool pebble.

Always remember that you can easily be infected when you have wounds because this will serve as their point of entry. You immune system should also be good at every time you swim outdoors. However, the best way is to ensure preventive maintenance to your swimming pools to protect your little ones whose immune system is not quite developed as yours. Prevention is still better than cure. Do not make illness a price that you have to pay in exchange for leisure. Take care of your swimming pools and have them tested. It is for your own good.

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