Bacteria Responsible for Wading Pool Infections

BOSTON-Dozens of children in Canada became infected with a bacteria in 1998 after swimming in an Alberta public pool. Officials have determined that heavy chlorination, sterilization of pool equipment, and the elimination of abrasive pool floors could help prevent a similar outbreak from happening in the future.

The bacteria, known currently as Pseudomonas hot-foot syndrome, caused reddish purple sores on the soles of 40 children's feet who were playing in a wading pool. The actual bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa was able to penetrate the skin because the rough pool bottom made the children's feet tender. The bacterium causes painful nodules under the skin, but eventually clears up by itself.

The pool in Alberta was closed twice before the bacterium was eliminated. The pool was treated with high levels of chlorine and the floor was flushed. The water pipes and inlets were also cleaned with an ammonia compound and ozone.

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