Risks of swimming
The risks and health effects of outdoor swimming
Risks of swimming in seas and lakes
Unfortunately, there are certain risks to swimming in seas and lakes.
Thirdly, water currents may be a risk. When currents change during an afternoon of swimming, people in the water may be surprised and may find it hard to return to the beach. Fourthly, the transition from un-deep to deep water may occur very sudden. In deep water the risk of obtaining swimmers cramp is much higher and there are ships, surfers and sailors that may overlook swimmers. It is not wise to go swimming in harbours, in waterways, or near floodgates.
When one takes a swim in water that contains pathogens, one might end up being ill. Pathogens enter the body during swimming activities and when one accidentally swallows swimming water.
Below, examples of a few serious diseases, caused by infection during swimming, are summed up.
Botulism is a disease that occurs mainly with water birds and fish, when water temperatures rise above twenty degrees Celsius. The disease causes muscular paralysis with infected animals. The animals that suffer from botulism will eventually die.
Blueweeds (Echium vulgare)
Blueweeds are bacteria that resemble algae. They float in the water as strings or slimy accumulations. When the strings or accumulations close in as temperatures rise, blueweeds die off and float to the surface, where they form a smelling layer of dead organic matter. While dying off, blueweeds produce toxins that are harmful for human and animal health.
For more information on health effects of microrganisms, move to the water health FAQ