Every year, millions of vacationers travel to Myrtle Beach, SC, to enjoy fun in the sun, our beaches, swimming pools, and water parks.
Drowning accidents are not the only danger at Myrtle Beach’s pools and beaches. Many people are blissfully unaware of the sheer number of harmful bacteria and parasites that live in our coastal waters and swimming pools. Some can make you extremely sick, and others will kill you.
Swimming pools are unfortunately full of urine and fecal matter – one in five Americans admits to peeing in the pool. Proper chlorine levels should disinfect all the urine, fecal matter, sweat, sunscreen, and lotions that go into a public pool before it finds its way into your mouth or nose, but what happens when the pool operators are not using the proper mix or levels of chemicals?
Are Brain Eating Amoebas Really a Thing?
Brain eating amoebas are real, they live in water all around us, and, according to DHEC, they are fatal in 95% of cases. Although infections are rare, there seems to be an increase in the number of incidents of infection by Naegleria fowleri, and there have been infections in South Carolina as well.
A woman also contracted a flesh-eating bacteria in Myrtle Beach this year after stepping into the ocean with a cut on her leg. City of Myrtle Beach officials released a statement denying any knowledge of the incident and insisting that the ocean water is tested twice weekly and is clean (despite multiple swimming advisories issued this year by DHEC for Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach).
What is a Crypto Infection?
“Crypto,” or Cryptosporidiosis, is one of the most common causes of infections contracted in the Grand Strand’s swimming pools, water parks, and beaches. Crypto is a parasite that causes painful diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting, and it is transmitted through fecal matter.
Although we rely on chlorine and other chemicals to disinfect swimming pools, Crypto presents a special challenge because it can survive for as long as ten days in a chlorinated pool. The number of Crypto infections from swimming pools and water parks has doubled nationwide between 2014 and 2016. In South Carolina, there were 50 reported Crypto infections in 2015 and 81 Crypto infections in 2016.
I Got Sick After Swimming in the Hotel Pool, Can I Sue?
If the illness was caused by the negligence of the pool owner or operator, they are responsible for the damages that were caused. To establish liability, we will need to show that the pool owner, pool operator, or equipment manufacturer was negligent in not maintaining a germ-free pool or water park that was safe for the public, which will require expert testimony as to the what the applicable standards are and how they were violated.
Even after we establish the pool owner or operator’s negligence, we still need to prove that their negligence was the direct, or proximate, cause of the illness which will require additional expert testimony and proof that the swimming pool was most likely the source of the infection.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an improperly maintained swimming pool or water-park pool, contact personal injury attorney Russell Fry. Russell. will review your case to determine whether or not you have a claim.
You can schedule a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case by calling (843) 488-5000 or filling out our online form.