Nearly 5,000 Cases of Disease from Recreational Waters

CDC warns residents about untreated water bodies.

These outbreaks resulted in at least 4,958 cases of disease and two deaths

Heading to the pool or lake to soak up the last of summer? You may want to think twice.

A study recently released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has attributed 140 outbreaks resulting in at least 4,958 cases of disease and two from untreated water sources between 2000 and 2014.

And that's only the reported cases - evidence shows that people often attribute disease from water as a "stomach-bug" or food-poisoning.

81% of outbreaks were between the months of June and August.

In August 2014, there were 63 cases linked to an outbreak at a wading pool in Georgia. The culprit? Cryptosporidium hominis, a pathogen causing diarrheal disease.

A year earlier (August 2013) three people were hospitalized, due to Legionella pneumophila - believed to come from a Georgia hotel pool. That’s the bacterium associated with Legionnaire’s disease - which caused the death of 12 people during the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

2/3 of the overall outbreaks were from public parks and beaches; but ocean beaches were rarely contaminated.

Don't want to miss out on summer fun?

Here's some steps to take:

- Don't let children enter the water with a dirty diaper.

- Do not swim if sick, and never swallow swimming water.

- Stay out of the water if a heavy rain has occurred.

- Keep an eye out for advisories posted on public beaches.

- Towel dry / shower if possible immediately after exiting the water, and rinse off pets after they swim.

- Stay away from discolored or odorous water, and never swim if dead fish or animals are nearby.

Find CDC resources for Recreational Water Illness here.

Check out the EPA’s website of regular updates on the water quality at different beaches here.