Is HPV Transmitted From Swimming Pool?

HPV Contamination Risk at Swimming Pool

The HPV virus (Human Papilomavirus) is spread by contact with the skin and mucous membranes: a person who has an infection can have a sexual intercourse with a vaginal, anal, or possibly a network, or a finger through the person's genitals. The risk of contamination is almost negligible with HPV hugging, shaking, bathing or showering.

There are studies showing that there may be a risk of HPV contamination in public areas where there may be barefoot contact, and there may be more HPV contamination in indoor pools than open pools (source >> Communal showers and the risk of plantarwarts). The use of swimming pools or other body areas to cover the warts with a tape or wearing a protective socks does not prevent the risk of HPV infection in the pool (source >> Should verrucas be coveredwhile swimming?). In fact, the highest risk of infection with HPV virus, pool or gyms are available in the common locker rooms and showers. It usually occurs as warts in the soles or under the toes of the feet (plantar warts; wart, verrucae). They are quite common in children and are usually caused by walking barefoot on the floor of the dressing room or in a swimming pool. It is the most appropriate measure (source: Human papillomavirus) for people with warts to cover their feet or wear shoes with people who do not wear shoes such as swimming pools or gyms in public places. A scientific study was published in 2015, demonstrating the initial detection of papillomaviruses (HPV8, 12, 23, 25, 120, and unclassified HPV subgroup) and polyomaviruses in swimming pool waters >> First detection of papillomaviruses and polyomaviruses in swimming pool waters: unrecognized recreational water‐related pathogens?

In general, disinfectants and chemicals used in swimming pools reduce HPV virus infectivity considerably; The risk of HPV transmission is considered to be higher in the pool edge and common shower areas, especially where the soles of the soles are in contact and the stationary water is present.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. It is important to note that HPV is not transmitted through non-sexual activities such as swimming in a pool.

In pools disinfected with chlorine, many resistant microorganisms can grow. The regular using of chlorine into a stationary water in contact with the active areas of infection on the body of people entering the pool alone cannot prevent all infections. Of course, it would be more appropriate if the pool water was changed regularly. Pool water disinfection without using a chemical product such as ionization method, also avoids possible side effects of chlorine.

HPV is primarily transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual, typically during sexual activity. The virus can infect the genital area, mouth, or throat of both men and women. It is highly contagious, and it is estimated that nearly all sexually active individuals will come into contact with HPV at some point in their lives.

While HPV is a common STI, it is not spread through casual contact or by sharing objects such as swimming pools, toilets, or towels. HPV requires direct contact with infected mucous membranes or skin to be transmitted. This means that swimming in a pool or using shared pool facilities does not pose a risk of HPV transmission.

Swimming pools, when properly maintained, have chlorine and other disinfectants that effectively kill bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. These disinfectants, combined with filtration systems, help ensure that the water in a swimming pool remains clean and safe for swimmers. While there may be other waterborne infections or diseases that can be contracted from poorly maintained pools, HPV is not one of them.

It is important to remember that practicing safe sexual behaviors, such as using condoms and getting vaccinated against HPV, can greatly reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting the infection. Vaccines are available that provide protection against several types of HPV that can cause various health issues, including cervical cancer and genital warts.

In conclusion, HPV is primarily transmitted through sexual activity and not through non-sexual activities like swimming in a pool. It is crucial to rely on accurate information and take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of HPV and other sexually transmitted infections. If you have concerns about HPV or any other health-related issues, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.

Is HPV Transmitted From Swimming Pool?

Popular disinfectants don't kill HPV!

Commonly used disinfectants cannot prevent the HPV virus from being transmitted non-sexually from surfaces. According to researchers from Penn State Medical School and Brigham Young University, changes in policies related to disinfection in hospitals and public areas are needed due to this situation (source >> Popular disinfectants do not kill HPV). In this study for HPV virus using 11 common disinfectants evaluated the results. These disinfectants included those made of ethanol and isopropanol; These are common substances in surface disinfectants and hand disinfectants used in both public and health care settings. Examination of these hand disinfectants is important because other studies have shown high HPV DNA levels in the fingers of patients with existing genital infections. Although HPV is sensitive to some disinfectants including hypochlorite and peracetic acid, it is resistant to alcohol-based disinfectants. Chemical disinfectants in hand disinfectants are widely used to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the general population. In the study, it was emphasized that, unless bleach or autoclaving is used in the hospital environment, the human papilloma virus does not die and the potential spread of HPV may persist. HPV is a virus that can be challenging to eradicate because it does not have an envelope structure like some other viruses that can be easily disrupted by disinfectants. Instead, HPV has a tough outer shell called a capsid, which helps protect it from the environment.

While disinfectants like bleach or alcohol-based products are effective against many viruses and bacteria, they may not be sufficient to completely eliminate HPV. Some studies have shown that certain disinfectants commonly used in healthcare settings, such as hydrogen peroxide or quaternary ammonium compounds, may have limited effectiveness against HPV.

In other words, regular deletion of pool edges with such disinfectants does not preclude HPV contamination.

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

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