It"s the holiday weekend. It’s hot (finally). We live in Michigan, recognized for its nearly boundless beaches.

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But prior to you jump into that inviting water to cool off, think about for a 2nd that it might make you sick.

Tiny microorganisms are swimming in that water along with you, and also if girlfriend swallow contaminated water or it gets into an open wound, or is breathed in v the nose, it could reason serious wellness problems and in rare cases, also death. 

At the very least nine Michigan beaches space closed this main because high bacteria level in the water do them unsafe for swimming, follow to the room of eco-friendly Quality"s Michigan BeachGuard System.

They are:

The St. Clair Shores Memorial Park Beach in Macomb CountyReed Lake Beach in Oakland County’s business TownshipEagle Lake, Lakeland manors Beach in Oakland County"s WaterfordCampbell Lake Beach in ~ Robert Morris Park in Kalamazoo CountyRoss Lake Beaverton City Park Beach in Gladwin CountyLake St. Helen"s windy fishing site in Richfield Township in Roscommon CountyLake Gogebic"s Gogebic ar Park Beach in Marenisco Township in the top Peninsula"s Gogebic County. Lake Gogebic State Park Beach in Marenisco Township in the upper Peninsula"s Gogebic County. Quarry beach in Schoolcraft County"s main Park

The danger of developing a entertain water disease is particularly high for people with cancer, diabetes or various other health conditions that compromise your immune systems, claimed Dr. Zafar Shamoon, the clinical director because that emergency solutions at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn. Other people at high risk are those who smoke, use illegal drugs or room alcoholics. 

He warned the the risks of swimming in freshwater lakes, streams and public pools, and offered tips for just how to mitigate the chance of disease when you carry out decide to take it a dip.

No. 1: Flesh-eating bacteria

"It’s the flesh-eating bacteria, dubbed necrotizing fasciitis, that everyone concerns about," Shamoon said. "It deserve to be deadly."

The U.S. Centers for condition Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 3 world who develop necrotizing fasciitis will die from it. 

The infection occurs as soon as bacteria enter the body, usually through a cut, scrape or even the website of a pest bite. The infection sets in and spreads quickly, killing the skin and tissue under the skin the surrounds muscles, nerves, fat, and blood vessels, according to the . CDC. 

"It might happen to anybody," said Shamoon. "I had a patient year ago who had actually an open up wound. He was a diabetic patient and also he reduced himself doing some yard work. As component of the yard work, he went into this pond. ... He ended up obtaining necrotizing fasciitis. He got admitted come the ICU (intensive-care unit) and his leg had to it is in amputated.

"Skin is taken into consideration an organ. It is the largest organ us have and also it offers protection. If that obstacle is broken, then the bacteria walk right right into your bloodstream. And also if the happens, it have the right to turn into sepsis and also septicemia, which people die from."

Streptococcus A is the bacteria that causes most instances of nectrotizing fasciitis, yet Shamoon noted that other types of bacteria, consisting of staph, clostridium, E.coli, and also pseudomonas, also deserve to lead to the infection. 

Between 700-1,200 cases are reported every year in the united States, follow to the CDC.

The vital to survival is acquiring treatment early, Shamoon said. 

Among the symptoms are rash, redness and also pain the develops about the wound site and also get increasingly worse, that said. People with necrotizing fasciitis will frequently have flu-like symptoms favor fever, fatigue and may also have nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. 


"You’ll sometimes see blistering, cracked under the skin, redness," he said. "You might see violet colored marks that deserve to sometimes turn into blisters, with fluid coming the end of it that smells yes, really bad. ... If you view streaks and have high fever, a most pain, ede in the area, those are signs."

Anyone through symptoms favor that should go to an emergency room, not an urgent treatment center," Shamoon said. 

"It can be really commonly missed and also thought to it is in cellulitis, that said. "How necrotizing fasciitis can really acquire people, wherein they acquire septic and die, is if they are misdiagnosed through a straightforward cellulitis and are provided an oral antibiotic as soon as they should have actually been admitted to the hospital and given high-dose IV antibiotics.

"And most of them are ones that might have been recorded early. ... ER doctors have a low threshold for this. We don’t take a chance."

No. 2: Brain-eating amoeba

Although extremely rare, brain-eating amoeba, also known together Naegleria fowleri, grow in heat water, together as warm springs, ponds, lakes and rivers, in warm-water discharge from industrial plants or in inadequately chlorinated swimming swimming pool water.

The bacteria are most generally found in ponds and lakes in the southerly United States during the summer, but the CDC reports that infections have also been uncovered in north states as well. 

Naegleria fowleri go into the mind through the sleep when world breathe in contaminated water vapor or aerosol droplets if doing water sporting activities or swimming or as soon as they use tap water for nasal or sinus irrigation (like a Neti Pot). 

Once the bacteria go into the brain, castle can reason primary amebic meningoencephalitis, or PAM, a disease that in its beforehand stages mimics bacterial meningitis, causing headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, balance problems, seizures, and also hallucinations

Although the CDC reports the there have actually been just 34 cases in the last 10 year in the united States, that is virtually always fatal. Once symptoms begin, a person generally dies within about five days. 

No. 3: Ear infections

If water is contaminated v bacteria and also remains in the ear canal after swimming, it have the right to lead to an epidemic of the outer ear canal referred to as otitis externa, also known as swimmer"s ear. 

While this is unlikely to death you, it can be very painful. 

The CDC reports the swimmer"s ear infections lead to 2.4 million health treatment visits every year and also nearly fifty percent a billion dollars in health care costs in the united States.

Symptoms incorporate pain, specifically when the ear is tugged or there is pressure on the ear; itching; swelling and also redness, and also pus drainage.

Problems are more likely in freshwater than in well-chlorinated pools, Shamoon said. 

"One of the things you deserve to do to keep water from entering the canal is to usage ear plugs, swimming caps, water resistant ear bands," he said. 

No. 4: Cryptosporidium

Chlorine in swimming pools kills most of the bacteria that have the right to make a human being sick, but there"s a parasite that deserve to live for several days also in a well-chlorinated pool. 

It"s dubbed cryptosporidium, or crypto, and also it is the leading cause of outbreaks the diarrhea tied to water in the U.S., follow to the CDC. 

The agency warned critical week the the variety of crypto situations in the U.S. Has increased an typical of 13% per year due to the fact that 2009, and in 2017.

It is contracted when people drink water contaminated with the parasite, and that can reason loose, watery diarrhea that have the right to last up to three weeks and lead to life-threatening dehydration and malnutrition, specifically in human being with endangered immune systems. 

It often is spread once babies who have crypto swim with soiled diapers or when others with diarrhea swim in a pool v others.

"Chlorine does acquire it, eventually," Shamoon said, "but that does survive for a couple days after it’s been chlorinated."

One pointer to consider, the said, is to urge youngsters not to swallow pool water (or new lake water, for that matter). 

"Kids have a tendency to gulp down the water," he said. "Encourage them not to and also to rather spit it out. Crypto is spread by swallowing water, and also that’s usually due to the fact that there is fecal issue in the water include the crypto. 

"It have the right to cause lengthy diarrhea for two weeks or more, and again, the world who are most typically going to come to be ill space young children, pregnant women and immune endangered people 

"It doesn’t take it a lot to gain crypto, also swallowing a tiny bit can cause a major infection."

Shamoon claimed it"s also crucial that parents check the swim diapers of kids every 30 minutes to certain they room clean, to take kids out that the water at least once every hour to usage the bathroom and also to avoid swimming if you have actually diarrhea. 

"If you’ve to be sick v diarrhea or GI problems, simply stay the end of the water completely," the said. "It protects other people."

How to protect yourself

Yes, there are threats to swim in freshwater and even in well-chlorinated pools. Yet there additionally are ways you deserve to reduce the threats of occurring a waterborne illness. 

"If you have actually a wound that’s exposed or open, simply don’t obtain into the water if girlfriend can. Give it time come heal," Shamoon said. 

"I watch kids and adults every the time, especially this time that year, for laceration repairs the I have to suture or staple. I will tell them to remain out of the water. Don’t soak it, even in bathtubs, don’t soak it. Remain out of warm tubs, remain out of swim pools until the wound heals over, till it scabs. Commonly that is done within 7 come 10 days."

And also if friend don"t have any type of open cut or wounds, it"s a an excellent idea to take a shower after you swim, the said. 

"Soap is the ideal infection avoidance weapon us have," Shamoon said. 

Inspect your skin or the skin of your children after they swimming in freshwater or a swimming swimming pool to make sure they haven"t arisen any brand-new cuts or scratches. If you watch one, clean it. 

"Make certain you wash it the end really good," Shamoon said. "You desire to irrigate it. Don’t just put peroxide ~ above it. And then cover it up through antibiotic ointment, and watch it because that a couple of days."

Shamoon claimed it"s additionally smart to fill hand sanitizer when you go to the beach or the pool to clean your hands prior to you reach for a snack.

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"Sometimes, you can’t take it a shower or wash her hands appropriate away," he said. "We constantly bring hand sanitizer with us so our kids can clean your hands as soon as they get out that the water.

"Kids put their hands in your mouths, they grab your food prior to they to wash their hands. If you don’t have soap and also water, get out the hand sanitizer."

And if you develop an infection or major diarrhea after swimming, obtain medical assist right away. Don"t wait, Shamoon said. 

Contact Kristen Jordan Shamus: 313-222-5997 or kshamus Follow she on Twitter