Q. If someone with a fungal infection swims in a pool, Will they spread to others?

Answered by Dr. Suneetha B S and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Image: If someone with a fungal infection swims in a pool, Will they spread to others?

Hello doctor, I wonder if chlorine levels in a normal swimming pool kill all the microbes. If someone with a fungal infection swims in a pool, won't it spread to others through the water?

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I am a swimmer and my rashes just got better with a steroid cream. Can I hit the pool?

Dr. Suneetha B S
Diabetology, Microbiology, Nutritionist


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern.

Swimming is considered as a safe recreational activity. But that is not totally true.

Chlorination of water is known to kill most of the microorganisms (which include bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites). But there are several factors to be considered like:

1) Type of microorganism (some organisms may be resistant to chlorination).

2) Adequate chlorination (if sufficient chlorine is not added, there could be a chance of acquiring infection).

3) Duration of chlorination (when a microorganism is introduced into the water, the chlorine may not kill the organism right away, some resistant organisms may survive longer in the water).

4) Microbial load (the stage of infection of the infected person is also important, during the acute acute/highly infective stage, chances of spreading infection may be higher).

  • It is very important for people with skin infections or diarrhoea to stay away from the pools for a period of 14days after recovery.
  • This can only be monitored by the people entering the pool themselves.
  • If you are swimming regularly, try not to swallow water while swimming.
  • Take a shower immediately after swimming.
  • If you develop any symptoms like rashes over the skin or diarrhoea, consult your doctor immediately.
  • Request the pool authorities to put up a notice requesting members to stay away from the pool if they are sick.
  • If you have kids who are swimming, follow the same advice, and change their nappies immediately after swimming.
  • Also take your kids to the toilet every 30 minutes during their swimming session, to prevent them from excreting in the pool.

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