Wuhan Virus Swimming Pool

Wuhan Virus Swimming

This post is all about whether the Wuhan coronavirus can spread in swimming pools. It is a top search in Google, however there is currently zero information about it.

We will list down various sources on other types of similar flu viruses and whether it can spread through swimming pools.

Source 1: Poolman.com (Yes!)

The short answer is yes. As Every Day Health summarized, germs that cause the flu and other illnesses spread so fast because people transmit it by simple motions, like a sneeze or a cough. Everyone from children to coworkers to spouses can be culprits. If any of them uses the pool, it can easily get to you.

Source: https://www.poolman.com/can-you-get-the-flu-from-swimming-pools/

Source 2: Illinois Department of Public Health (Maybe, not conclusive)

No research has been completed on the susceptibility of H1N1 influenza virus to chlorine and other disinfectants used in swimming pools, spas, water parks, interactive fountains and other treated recreational venues. However, recent studies have demonstrated that free chlorine levels recommended by CDC (1–3 parts per million [ppm or mg/L] for pools and 2–5 ppm for spas) are adequate to disinfect avian influenza A (H5N1) virus. It is likely that other influenza viruses such as H1N1 virus would also be similarly disinfected by chlorine.

Source: http://www.idph.state.il.us/h1n1_flu/sf_qa.htm

Source 3 (Channel News Asia):

Q: Can the virus be spread through water such as via swimming pools? Or through one’s eyes?

Prof Gray: We don’t know, but other respiratory viruses can, such as adenovirus which is a hardier type of virus.

Prof Wang: Transmission through the swimming pool is unlikely unless the person is swimming very close to an infected person. Yes, it is possible to be infected through the eyes.

Asst Prof Anderson: It is unlikely that the coronavirus can be spread through water, especially chlorinated swimming pools. Coronaviruses are also not known to be spread though the eyes.

There is an anecdotal case of infection through the eye and, if this infection did occur, it is an extremely rare event.

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/faq-wuhan-coronavirus-and-its-outbreak-12373466


Conclusion

It is basic chemical knowledge that chlorine in pools is a powerful disinfectant. At high concentrations, chlorine is capable of destroying any living thing, not just Wuhan virus. However, swimming is not 100% underwater, there is a period of walking into the swimming pool, as well as breathing above water. During those periods above water, it is possible for the Wuhan virus to be transmitted. Also, if the chlorine concentration is not strong enough, it may not be enough to disinfect the virus.

Hence, it is better to be safe and avoid swimming pools during this period!