You're at a swanky hotel, laying back in the bubbling indoor Hot Tub. The water is warm. Steam rises into the air around you. You can see the small eddy's on the surface swirling around and around. There's a sudsy foam forming on the surface of the aerated water all around you. The heated spray fills your lungs as you deep inhale. You deep inhale again. Sound familiar.
It's the perfect setting to catch, Hot Tub Lung.
The first case of the Hot Tub Lung surfaced in a British hospital, after a 72 year-old woman by the name of Jean Winfrey was admitted into emergency after she couldn't catch her breath. She had an enclosed hot tub at the rear of her house, in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
After careful analysis, doctors diagnosed her case as possibly being caused by an inflammation called sarcoidosis, an allergic reaction to an infection, but could not come up with a final conclusion of what was ailing her. The British Lung Foundation urged doctors to investigate the possibility that spa use should be taken into account, for the sole reason that most private British spas are built indoors.
Canadians and Americans on the other hand place their spas on patios, in backyards, in the open air. Hot Tubs have been around for a long time. The U.S. Centre for Disease Control warns people that spas should not be placed indoors.
Hot Tub Lung covers many severe conditions such as pneumonia and hypersensitivity reactions. As you would have guessed, it's the micro-bacteria that's the problem, it grows on the slime that forms on the walls of the inside of the tub and pipes. When the water is forced through the jets, it swooshes the bacteria from the walls into the water, then that water is aerated, the spray and mist goes up in the air and is breathed in by the unsuspecting victim.
So, before you climb into that Hot Tub again, think about how dirty the water is. When was the last time the water was changed? Does the pool feel slimy? Is there an oily film on the surface when the jets are turned off and the water is calm.
Chlorine won't help, the warm temperature of the water makes matters worse tenfold, it loses much of it's disinfecting power the warmer the water gets and germs, bugs, and bacteria love the warm water, actually preferring it.
I'd ask to see the cleaning report before I'd be setting my tootsies in it. I'd advise you to do the same.
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