Chlorine can't kill pool germs instantly

June 27, 2012 at 11:23 PM

ATLANTA, June 27 (UPI) -- Chlorine kills germs in the pool, but it can't work miracles and it doesn't do it instantly, a U.S. health official said.

Michele Hlavsa of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the idea that swimming pool disinfectants kill germs instantly is a myth.

Hlavsa said that's why it's unhealthy to treat the pool like a toilet. People should shower off any germs before jumping into the pool, Hlavsa said.

People just want to have fun in a pool, but Hlavsa said carelessness in a swimming pool, wading pool or hot tub can lead to a variety of diseases.

"People could get gastrointestinal infections, viral meningitis, ear infections -- also known as swimmer's ear -- but the most common infection is diarrhea," Hlavsa said in a statement.

To prevent illness, Hlavsa advised to not swallow the pool water or swim with open sores.

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