Sick Patient in the Pool

Q:   Two connected and similar questions that have been taken from the ATRI list serve. 

#1 Emergency respond please!!

Just had a patient call to tell me she has an outbreak of shingles. She was in the pool Wednesday!
My question is:
DOES CHLORINE KILL THIS TYPE OF VIRUS?? Should I increase chlorine levels?


#2  We have a new patient sent to us by an orthopedic physician asking for pool therapy.  The patient is very obese and shared that she has ongoing yeast infections in the skin folds of her body.  She is also a diabetic.  Is there some kind of a barrier cream that can be applied to the affected areas or is it not advisable for her to enter our pool.

Our population is primarily seniors and we are concerned for their well being.

Has anyone had experience with this type of yeast infections? And what have you done for them?



#1   As long as you kept residual free chlorine in your pool during and after the use of the pool you are ok and don’t need to do anything. You do want to check you maintenance log and see if the PH and CL were/are up to par. If there was not a free CL residual of one, and a correct PH level you will want to contact the health department. In that case, they will tell you what to do next. It really doesn’t matter what the bug is that your trying to kill: yeast, fungus, virus, bacteria they are no match for the oxidative / disinfection properties of free chlorine in conjunction with proper PH levels. That’s why people keep halides in their pools, to keep it safe for everyone who uses it. Of course there is always the exception such as in the case of diarrheal discharge. This is all covered in my upcoming AFO course.


#2   With regard to this person with fungal issues: If they have open sores they should not enter the pool. Otherwise, chlorine will protect pool users from transmittable illness because it kills microbes instantly, BUT you have to make sure this person baths properly with soap thoroughly before they get in. If someone gets into the pool dirty it can bring down the free residual CL quickly and that’s a big problem, one that could manifest all of your deepest fears. Does the pool have an automatic feeder monitoring ORP to keep up with the demand for chlorine to disinfect the pool? If it does and if your aquatic facility operator is keeping up with the water it’s really no different than any other day at the pool.

I have an upcoming Aquatic Facility Operator course coming up in Phoenix, Arizona November 12th and 13th geared towards to aquatic fitness community. Please consider coming if you work in the water and would like to learn about swimming pools in plain easy to understand language. This course will be eligible for continuing education credit.


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