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Originally Published by U.S. News & World Report

Swimmers at a Pennsylvania community pool learned that the hard way when in June 2021 more than a dozen kids were seriously sickened by two types of bacteria, E. coli and C. difficile.

“These are pathogens that can cause pretty significant gastrointestinal distress in all ages, but particularly in children,” said researcher Molly Nace, an epidemiology research associate at the Pennsylvania Department of Health in Greensburg. “Some of the children who tested positive for E. coli also tested positive for C. difficile.”

The kids got sick after swallowing the pool water, she said.

These bacteria usually find their way into pool water because someone swims while having diarrhea, Nace said. Bacteria can also get into the water from another source of contamination, and sometimes local water sources might have E. coli, she added.

In this outbreak, 15 children became ill. Thirteen of them needed medical care, and six were hospitalized for severe diarrhea and inflammation of the colon. Fortunately, none developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure.

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