New public health recommendation: Avoid recreational water sports?

Weekend water outings increase the risk of the trots or worse, say researchers.

University of Illinois-Chicago researchers report in Environmental Health Perspectives that “limited-contact water recreation” — i.e., fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking and rowing — increases the risk of acute gastrointestinal illness — even in waterways that are approved for general use recreation.

Of course this is all weak association epidemiology built on that ever-secure foundation of self-reported data.

The notable news, here, is that recreational activities in “waters dominated by wastewater effluent” no more dangerous than “water approved for general use recreation.”

So if you get the diarrhea from recreating on the water, blame Mother Nature, not manmade pollution.

Click here to read the study.

6 thoughts on “New public health recommendation: Avoid recreational water sports?”

  1. Nothing particularly novel that surface water has things in it that might make you ill, that’s why we’ve been treating drinking water sources for a long time. That being said, I’ve swam, boated and generally messed around water for a very long time and don’t recall anyone getting any dread diseases because they gulped a mouthful of the lake or river. Think I’ll continue to be out there with Goober enjoying the boat until I’m too old and doddery to do it.

    As for the report: yawn, we already knew that.

  2. Okay, where to start. First off, the nannies can kiss my butt – I’ve been recreating on water since I was born and don’t plan to stop now because I might get sick. i might drown, too. Or get hit by another boat. Or fall overboard andget tied up in the prop. Or get caught in a storm and sink. Hell, I could get in a car accident on the way to the lake. I guess I’m brave enough to take my chances with the horrible consequences of actually enjoying my life instead of staying locked up in a box for the rest of my life.

    Second – the lakes and rivers that I play in have had toxic blue-green algae blooms off an on over the years. This blue green algae is totally natural and given the lakes that I swim in – Dworshak reservoir in northern Idaho for instance, which has absolutely zero human inhabitants upstream or ont he reservoir for that matter – it can’t possibly be because of human pollution. The county that Dworshak’s drainage falls in has a grand total of a couple hundred residents. Not thousand. Hundred.

    Third – if there are algae blooms in the lake, you can avoid getting sick from them, by – get this – NOT SWIMMING IN THE MF’ing ALGAE. We aren’t talking about rocket surgery here.

    Fourth – I take very rudimentary precautions when I’m on the lake. I don’t drink the water for one. When I’m in the water, I try not to get it in my mouth. If I eat after being in the water, I use hand sanitizer. If I wash the fish that I catch out with lake water, i rinse them again thouroughly when I get home with clean tap water, and make sure to cook them through. I can’t even believe that this is a news story.

  3. Toxic algae blooms are indeed present in the waters of Oregon. It was environmental activists who helped encourage its appearance in at least one lake. That lake had been overwhelmed by an illegally introduced fish, the tui chub. The state wanted to use a naturally derived piscicide, rotenone, to eliminate the chub and re-establish that lake’s renowned trout fishery. Activists sued to stop the application and were initially successful. That allowed the chub to increase into the millions. The waste products encouraged blooms of algae that rendered the waters un-swimmable and potentially lethal. Under health concerns they eventually did poisoned the lake, eliminated (hopefully) the chub, restocked the trout. The lake is a tourist destination again bringing millions of tourist dollars to a distressed rural area. Sadly, the algae is established and has bloomed again, but not to the extent as before. Thanks for that, enviromentalists.

  4. Where do your countries researchers find all this rubbish – natural seaborne algal toxins close many of our recreational fishing spots every once in a while – this natural phenomena has been happening for as long as records have been kept – is absolutely nothing to do with mankind – yes water can become contaminated by man (just look at some third world countries) but we in the West have been awake to this potential for a very long time and any contamination caused mainly by accident is very quickly identified and corrected – Greenies go home (where ever that may be)

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