Public vs. Private Spas: Can hot tubs make you sick?

“Do hot tubs have the potential to make you sick?” However, they are capable of transmitting disease, and a poorly managed spa may result in a variety of unwelcome illnesses. When it comes to recreational water activities, the danger of an accident is always there. However, taking the appropriate measures may reduce the likelihood of an accident and enable you to enjoy in your hot tub as intended.

What really is the danger?

Recreational water illnesses (RWI) are a widespread condition that affects many people. Swimming accidents may occur in the ocean, at local swimming holes, in public pools, and even in hot tubs, according to the CDC. Water is just too powerful as a channel of communication and too friendly as a habitat for bacteria, viruses, and parasites to be avoided. In addition, the list of ailments that are more common in these permanently damp surroundings is rather extensive.

When it comes to water-borne infections, the most frequent symptoms are digestive system disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. Norovirus, Cryptosporidium, and Giardia are all parasites that may cause these symptoms, and bacteria like Shigella and E. coli can cause these symptoms as well. Typically, these ailments only manifest themselves when a person eats contaminated water or accidentally gets it in their mouth.

Another sickness associated with hot tubs and spas is “hot tub rash,” which is a chicken pox-like rash produced by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is very contagious. It is common for this specific skin infection to be small and to clear on its own without the need for treatment.

Also possible are uncommon skin and open wound infections, such as Legionnaires’ disease, a severe type of pneumonia that may be particularly harmful for smokers, the elderly, and persons with impaired immune systems.

But The Water Is Treated With Chlorine…”

It is true that sanitizing chemicals like as chlorine may assist in reducing the danger of illness transmission, but they are not failsafe and only function when used appropriately. Although it is normally rather successful in swimming pools, it is less effective in hot tubs due to the fact that greater temperatures might cause chemicals to break down, hence diminishing its effectiveness.

Bathers and the human influence, on the other hand, have a propensity to exacerbate the situation. Skin lotion, sunscreen, hair products, and perspiration all contribute to the depletion of chlorine levels in any water body. There’s also the possibility of additional pollutants, such as urine bathers covertly releasing toxins (which they incorrectly assume is harmless). All of these pollutants may deplete the efficacy of chlorine, and although they are not contagious, they can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

How to Protect Yourself When Using a Public vs. Private Hot Tub

So, if hot tubs have the potential to spread illness, why would anybody ever want to use one? The good news is that proper usage and maintenance reduce virtually all of the dangers. Not to add, there is a lengthy list of hot tub health advantages to bathing in a spa, which may help you live a healthier and more fulfilling life. You must take appropriate steps in order to reduce the danger of transmission, which you cannot assume is occurring in hot tubs that are available to the public on a regular basis.

  1. First and foremost, make certain that bathers wash off before and after going into the hot tub.
  2. Before each usage, check the chemical levels in the hot tub to verify they are at the right levels—2-4 parts per million for chlorine, 4-6 parts per million for bromine, and a pH of 7.2-7.8.
  3. Perform routine maintenance, including cleaning the spa, replacing the water, and changing the filter at the intervals advised by the manufacturer.
  4. Maintain a constant water temperature of 104 degrees or below at all times.
  5. After each use, “shock” the water with a strong dosage of sanitizer to ensure that bacteria does not develop in between usage.
  6. Try not to get any water in your mouth when drinking.
  7. Talk to your doctor about whether you should use a hot tub while pregnant or if you are experiencing any other specific health situations.

Finally, placing your hot tub outside in the open air reduces the danger of developing Legionnaires’ disease, which can only be contracted when you breathe in steam or mist from the water. If you follow these instructions, you will be able to use your hot tub with confidence, knowing that you are preventing any possible health hazards.

For additional information on how to keep your spa safe and functioning, as well as assistance in determining the best hot tub for your needs, contact your local dealer today to get started on your search.

Summary

Recreational water illnesses are a widespread condition that affects many people. Hot tub rash is a chicken pox-like rash produced by the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia that may be particularly harmful for smokers, the elderly, and persons with impaired immune systems. Bathers’ sweat and urine may deplete the efficacy of chlorine in hot tubs. Pollutants can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

Before each usage, check the chemical levels in the hot tub to verify they are at the right levels. Maintain a constant water temperature of 104 degrees or below at all times. After each use, “shock” the water with a strong dosage of sanitizer. Place your hot tub outside in the open air to reduce the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease from using it.

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