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Come on in, the water's disgusting: Freep lays out all the ways swimming can sicken you


July 04, 2019, 9:01 AM

Just in time for a hot, steamy Fourth of July, the Free Press welcomes the holiday with a comprehensive list of all the microorganisms that will make you wish you were dead, or simply just dead. 


Drowning's not the worst thing that can happen here. (Photo: NASA)

So much for those "Unsalted, shark-free" T-shirts we like to wear around here. 

Nine Michigan beaches are closed, three in Oakland and Macomb, mostly for "high bacteria levels," which usually means e. coli, either from combined storm-sewer system overflows or pooping geese. But it could means other strains, and the Freep lays them out, in an apparent desire to get the beaches all to themselves, because ewwww. 

Flesh-eating bacteria? Brain-eating amoeba? How about a little cryptosporidium, scarecrow? It's all waiting for you in that inviting blue waterway. But in true Gannett news-you-can-use helpfulness, there are several paragraphs devoted to how you can protect yourself, beyond moving to a nearby planet that hasn't been ruined yet:

"If you have a wound that’s exposed or open, just don’t get into the water if you can. Give it time to heal," (Dr. Zafar) Shamoon said.

"I see kids and adults all the time, especially this time of year, for laceration repairs that I have to suture or staple. I will tell them to stay out of the water. Don’t soak it, even in bathtubs, don’t soak it. Stay out of hot tubs, stay out of swimming pools until the wound heals over, until it scabs. Usually that is done within 7 to 10 days."

And even if you don't have any open cuts or wounds, it's a good idea to take a shower after you swim, he said.

"Soap is the best infection prevention weapon we have," Shamoon said.

Good to know! Happy Fourth, everyone!


Read more:  Detroit Free Press


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