Share the FUN...not the germs! Health officials remind people to swim healthy

August 10, 2017

With another warm summer weekend ahead, the Multnomah County Health Department is reminding everyone to swim healthy. Everyone plays a role in preventing illnesses linked to the water people share during the summer and all year round.

Germs, like Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Escherichia coli (or E. coli), and Shigella can be spread through the water people swim and play in. These germs often cause several days of diarrhea. Diarrhea is defined as three or more loose stools in a 24-hour period. When people are infected with these germs and swim in the water they can spread the germs to other swimmers. Even if the chlorine levels are properly maintained, some germs survive because they are resistant to standard chlorine levels (such as Cryptosporidium).  For this reason, people with diarrhea should not use pools or spas.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have the following: diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, vomiting, and fever.

To keep healthy when in the pool, every swimmer should:

• Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

• Shower before you get in the water.

• Don’t pee or poop in the water.

• Don’t swallow or drink the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

Each hour, you should:

• Take kids on bathroom breaks.

• Check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper changing area—not poolside.

• Wash your hands after changing diapers and using the bathroom.

Additional information about Healthy Swimming is on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention page. You can also download and share this Healthy Swimming Brochure:.


For more information, media should contact: Julie Sullivan-Springhetti,, 503-502-2741