Recreational water illnesses (RWI) are caused by bacteria that may be contracted by ingesting, inhaling, or coming into touch with polluted water found in pools, hot tubs, water slides, water parks, and active fountains, rivers, lakes, or oceans. Compounds in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and affect indoor air quality may potentially contribute to RWIs. RWIs may include many infections, such as gastrointestinal tract, skin, ear, respiratory system, eyes, neurologic system, and wounds.
Pregnant women, children, and those with weakened immune systems (such as those with AIDS, organ transplant recipients, or those through some forms of chemotherapy) are at higher risks of RWI. Individuals with weakened immune systems must know that recreational water may have Cryptosporidium or Crypto-infected human or animal excrement. In those with low immune systems, crypto may result in a life-threatening infection.