How are RWIs spread?

Swimmers who are ill with diarrhea can often carry germs that can contaminate the water if an accident occurs in the pool. If someone swallows water that has been contaminated with feces, he/she may become sick. Many of these diarrhea-causing germs do not have to be swallowed in large amounts to cause illness.

Many other RWIs (skin, ear, eye, respiratory, neurologic, wound, and other infections) are caused by germs that live naturally in the environment (water, soil). In the pool or hot tub, if disinfectant is not maintained at the appropriate levels, these germs can increase to the point where they can cause illness when swimmers breathe or have contact with water containing these germs.

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1. Why is it important to know about RWIs?
2. How are RWIs spread?
3. Who is affected by RWIs?
4. How are RWIs prevented?