Water Recreation and Disease
Plausibility of Associated Infections: Acute Effects, Sequelae and Mortality
Worldwide, the popularity of recreational activities which involve contact with water is continuing to grow. Moreover, ease of travel and change in human behaviour has altered the use of water for recreational purposes. Users should be aware that recreational exposures to pathogens may result in disease. Susceptible populations including people with reduced immune function (e.g., resulting from disease (cancer, HIV), genetic susceptibility, age, etc.) or lack of immunity to locally endemic diseases (e.g., tourists) may be at higher risk of contracting illnesses. In most cases the primary disease symptoms associated with recreational water contact are acute, such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
Although less frequently reported, more serious and potentially fatal disease is a risk to recreational users of water especially in certain susceptible populations. In addition to diseases which have severe primary outcomes (e.g., primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, typhoid, leptospirosis), a number of infections may lead to sequelae with serious consequences including renal disease (from E. coli O157:H7 for example), cardiac and nutritional disorders. This is the first book to provide a comprehensive review and analysis of potential severe disease outcomes, including acute effects and sequelae, associated with recreational water activities. This book will be useful to all those concerned with recreational water quality, including environmental and public health professionals, local authorities, user groups, and tourists.
Water Recreation and Disease sets out to identify the more severe waterborne diseases and their sequelae which may be acquired while undertaking water-based recreation in marine, freshwater, spas/whirlpools and swimming pools. The review systematically brings information together on the ecology and health aspects of a variety of pathogens where cases attributed to recreational use of water have been documented. This is the only available guide to bring together information on the more severe waterborne diseases to assist decision-making in recreational water management.
About the author: Dr Kathy Pond, Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health, University of Surrey, UK