June 06, 2020 08:15
Summer is approaching and with it concerns over how to enforce social distancing at swimming pools or beaches. Doctors say there is no risk of infection through the swimming pool water itself.
Eom Joong-shik at Gachon University Gil Hospital said, "Most have been disinfected with highly concentrated chlorine, so coronavirus gets exterminated. There is no risk of infection even if an infected person goes into the water."
There is also no chance of infection from accidentally swallowing the pool water. Lee Deok-hwan at Sogang University said, "Coronavirus causes a range of respiratory problems, but the immune system in the digestive tract is stronger than the one in the respiratory tract, meaning that simply swallowing a small amount of pool water is harmless."
But experts warn that social distancing must be maintained. "Close contact with others is unavoidable at swimming pools and it's impossible to wear face masks there," Lee said. Crowded swimming pools and the inability to wear face masks increase the risk of infection.
Showering after swimming is also risky. "Health officials recommend not using showers at gyms and other fitness facilities," Lee said. "That's because of the risk of infection from faucets, hair driers, door handles and shampoo bottles."
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