Can You Get The Ebola Virus From A Swimming Pool Or Hot Tub
We contacted the CDC and the ECDC and the official statement is that “You cannot contract Ebola Virus from a swimming pool, by handling money, or touching things like groceries.” Although they did not specifically comment on hot tubs one way or the other, the same sanitizing chemicals used in swimming pools are also used in most hot tubs – and the fact that the water temperature is hotter or colder is of no consequence to the virus.
Ebola is very easily killed immediately by sanitizers such as chlorine, bleach, bromine, etc – so if your pool or hot tub has chlorine/bromine levels in the 1.5ppm-3ppm range (which is normal) there would be no way to ever catch Ebola from being in a pool or hot tub – even if an infected person had previously been in that body of water.
Of specific note is the fact that they actually use chlorine bleach to spray down the protective outfits now being used by medical personnel, as a way of disinfecting the plastic protective clothing used directly around those already showing symptoms of Ebola. “Chlorine is 100% effective in killing the virus.”
The CDC also said “(The) Ebola Virus is easily killed by (many things including) soap, bleach, sunlight or drying (out). Machine washing clothes that have been (directly) contaminated with fluids will destroy (the) Ebola Virus.”
“The Ebola Virus survives only a short (period) of time on surfaces that are in the sun, or have dried.” They also said that you cannot get Ebola from mosquitoes either.
So the bottom line is that you have nothing to worry about regarding catching Ebola from using a swimming pool or a hot tub, while utilizing the normal sanitizers and chemicals that are commonly in use worldwide.
Sources: U.S. Center For Disease Control, European Centre For Disease Prevention And Control, PBS
October 17, 2014 Update:
Since the more recent developments indicating that the CDC may not be 100% reliable for Ebola information, we (PoolAndSpa.com) would like to amend the story above with our recommendations as follows:
1- In publicly accessible swimming pools, we would recommend running the chlorine levels at a higher rate – between 3.0 ppm and 3.5 ppm – just to be safe. Shocking the swimming pool on a daily basis, or as necessary, is always a good idea, regardless of Ebola.
2- In private (homeowner) swimming pools, the standard recommended chlorine levels are still fine (1.5 ppm – 3.0 ppm). Shocking the swimming pool after a party is always a good idea, regardless of Ebola.
3- In publicly accessible hot tubs, we would recommend the use of chlorine, in addition to bromine, ozone or other hot tub sanitizers – just to be safe. Shocking the hot tub on a daily basis, or as necessary, is always a good idea, regardless of Ebola.
4- In private (homeowner) hot tubs, we would recommend the use of chlorine, in addition to bromine, ozone or other hot tub sanitizers – just to be safe. Shocking the hot tub before or after use, is a good idea. Especially if non-family/friends have used, or will be using, the hot tub.
Again, the odds of catching Ebola from a pool or hot tub are very low. Luckily – pools and hot tubs normally have a residual level of chlorine in them, so they are actually one of the most unlikely places where you could possibly catch Ebola. But “better safe than sorry”, as they say.
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