You can Not get herpes from a swimming pool

herpes-swimming-pool

I will never understand why people don’t do the research before they make up their mind on things. I got an note from a gal that is insisting that herpes can be spread from swimming pools. Unless you are having sex inside that pool with the other person, you are not going to contract herpes. I tried to explain it to her and she just was not getting it. Here’s how it went..

Here’s the 1st note that I got

Hi! I just wanted to share what I was told by my children’s pediatrician today: Chlorine in a swimming pool absolutely DOES NOT kill the herpes virus. After finding so much controversial information on the Internet, I decided to contact my children’s doctor to pose the question. There was a child in my daughter’s swim group the other day who had an outbreak all over his lips. Mortified I removed my daughter from the pool & discreetly alerted the athletics director. After a bit of arguing, he called me to inform me that the virus could be transmitted in the pool & they would be more aware of anyone entering the pool with an active outbreak. Although chlorine lessens the chance of spreading the virus, it DOES NOT mean the virus is unable to spread in a swimming pool. Also, just so you know, I’ve had herpes since the age of 10 when my father gave it to me following an innocent kiss goodnight. I would NEVER get into a pool with an outbreak, & was alarmed to see that others don’t always have the same consideration. Just wanted to share, thanks for listening.  :)

Here’s my response to her 1st note

You are NOT going to contract herpes from being inside of a swimming pool with somebody that has an active outbreak. I can’t believe you had the child with a coldsore pulled out of the swimming pool. Good Grief!

The only way you could possibly contract the virus inside of the swimming pool is if you were having sex with somebody that had it inside of the pool. I can’t believe you all freaked out over this.

Here’s the 2nd note that I got

I must say my peace & then I’m finished debating this subject.  1st of all I didn’t “freak out” about this situation, I simply discretely removed MY child from the pool, (not the other child) brought it to the appropriate parties’ attention, & am now hoping for the best.  You are so very wrong in believing the virus can ONLY be spread through sexual contact.  Both my family doctor as well as my children’s ped informed me that YES it is most certainly possible to contract herpes from a close contact swimming class, esp. when the children are playing with toys in the pool which come into direct contact with the outbreak on the child’s mouth & are then passed on to another child’s mouth.  Unfortunately, yours is the naive attitude which assists the transmission of this virus to innocent children.  I myself am SO very careful not to pass this on to my children or anyone else, & would greatly appreciate the same consideration from others.  Have a great day!  :)

Here’s my response to her 2nd note

Your doctor is wrong. You can NOT contract herpes from a swimming pool.

I suggest you read the Updated Herpes Handbook over on the Westover Heights Clinic web site.

You can also contact the Herpes Resource Center of the American Social Health Association and they would be more than happy to discuss this with you further.

Here’s the 3rd note that I got

IT’S QUITE OBVIOUS YOU EITHER AREN’T CAPABLE OF THOROUGHLY READING, OR UNABLE TO COMPREHEND THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.

MOUTH…..

TO TOY…..

TO MOUTH…..

ANYWHERE CAN TRANSMIT THE DISEASE, EVEN IN A SWIMMING POOL!  HERPES IS BEING SPREAD IN DAYCARE SETTINGS, PRESCHOOLS, & SCHOOLS ON A REGULAR BASIS VIA TOYS, CUPS, & OTHER NON-SEXUAL CONTACT.  IT’S UNNERVING TO SEE MISINFORMATION BEING SPREAD TO ANYONE CAPABLE OF TURNING ON A COMPUTER.  MY INTENT WAS SIMPLY TO EDUCATE & SHARE A DISTURBING EXPERIENCE, BUT IF THE AMERICAN HEALTH ASSOCIATION SAYS IT’S NOT POSSIBLE, THEN BY ALL MEANS!  WE ALL KNOW TO TAKE THE WORD OF EVERY AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS AS THE GOSPEL, THEY’VE DONE SUCH A GREAT JOB SO FAR!  PLEASE CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR ROSE-COLORED GLASSES, & DO NOT CONTACT ME ANY FURTHER, AS I WILL CONTINUE TO EDUCATE & PROTECT MY CHILDREN FROM THOSE SUCH AS YOURSELF.  :)

She didn’t want me contacting her again so I thought it would be nice to go ahead and share my thoughts and feelings on her spin on it here

You can’t contract herpes from a swimming pool, in daycare settings, preschools or schools on a regular basis via toys, cups and other non sexual contact the way that she mentions it. Why? Because the virus can’t survive on these things outside of the body.

This woman is crazy to think that her children are susceptible to an STD by being in a swimming pool, daycare setting OR school with somebody that has herpes. It just doesn’t work that way.

She actually sounds like a bit of a hypochondriac to me.

Since she is so adamant and seems to have all the answers I have no idea why she bothered to write to me in the first place. Go figure!?

9 thoughts on “You can Not get herpes from a swimming pool

  1. Oh my god i cant believe this story first of all Herpes Virus dies once it get in contact with the environment this means Herpes Dies on objects, Herpes can only be contracted by direct skin contact of the genitals or mouth with the infection (open sores, sexual contact with the infection), I cant even imagine how the infected kid felt on that situation.

  2. Unless the kids touched their area of infection and then touched another kid (something she should of thought of and not the pool!) maybe there’s a chance of transmission? If they were sharing towels maybe?

    She forgot that there is CHLORINE IN THE POOL.

    *Sigh*

    Kids do much more things in the pool. Bet she forgot that too.

  3. I’m thinking she was more of a hypochondriac actually…

    They all over reacted in my opinion.

    Poor kiddos…

  4. Hi
    I read your info. I’m trained in the field of “mode of transmission”. One very significant factor omitted by your doctor takes us to the first level of bacterium study. Herpes is a “site to site” contact. If the virus is deposited in a pool water (from individuals infected by the herpes virus) the water itself deactivates the virus. Herpes will not remain viable in water. Water is a compound made of hydrogen and oxygen…H2O. These basic elements are not hospiable to herpes. Chlorine kills lots of germs and worms and it’s effiency at destroying harmful germs is valuable. Chlorine in water, as it concerns the destruction of the herpes virus is sort of like shooting a dead man. Thanks for your info. Transmission of diseases concern all of us. Rececntly I read a travel reveiwer stating she had contracted herpes this way. You can no more get herpes in a swimming pool containing the bacterium, than you can get pregnant by swallowing an egg. Sincerely, Nancy

  5. My 2 year old recently had a bumpy rash on the back of his leg. I brought him to our pediatrician and then a dermatologist. They both said it was herpes. My heart broke.
    Coincidentally, I recently joined the local YMCA and took enrolled my son and daughter in gymnastics and swimming. Nine to ten days later my son had the beginnings of a rash on the back of his leg. It’s herpes. I couldn’t believe it. I want to know where this came from and won’t rest until I do.

  6. Did your pediatrician actually do a culture of the rash OR did he diagnose your son by sight alone?

    I wouldn’t assume that your son has herpes until he has proper testing done.

  7. I recently started to research this matter and found this on the Journal of American Medicine website:

    Survival of Herpes Simplex Virus in Water Specimens Collected From Hot Tubs in Spa Facilities and on Plastic SurfacesLata S. Nerurkar, PhD; Frank West; Michael May; David L. Madden, DVM, PhD; John L. Sever, MD, PhD
    [+] Author Affiliations

    From the Infectious Diseases Branch, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
    AbstractSeveral health spas were closed temporarily because of possible nonvenereal spread of herpes simplex virus (HSV) in spa water at these facilities. We collected water specimens from two health spas and studied them for (1) the presence of HSV; (2) bromine (Br2), chlorine (Cl2), and pH levels; and (3) the ability of HSV to survive in water. No HSV could be isolated from the spa water specimens. Spa water had high levels of Cl2 and Br2, tap water specimens had low levels of Cl2, and distilled water had no detectable Cl2 or Br2. The addition of spa water to laboratory stock virus immediately inactivated the virus. The HSV survived four hours in the tap water and 24 hours in distilled water. The survival of HSV appeared to be related to the free halogen content of water. To approximate the conditions of survival of HSV on plastic-coated benches and seats in spa facilities, HSV was placed on plastic surfaces in a humid atmosphere at 37 to 40 °C. The virus was found to survive up to 4.5 hours under these conditions. The survival of HSV from human lesions may be different due to the presence of tissue secretions and proteins. Furthermore, transmission may require other factors, such as rubbing of skin or penetration through abrasions. However, survival of significant amounts of virus for 4.5 hours on plastic surfaces suggests that fomites such as these may be nonvenereal routes of HSV transmission.

    (JAMA 1983;250:3081-3083)

Comments are closed.