Fans of beaches, rivers, lakes, and water, in general, ask quite a reasonable question: “Is it possible to get the coronavirus disease by swimming in such places?” This question was answered by a study by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
CSIC notes that the chlorine used to disinfect swimming pools contributes to the death of the lipid membrane of the coronavirus. And there is no need to increase the chlorination of pools too much. The content of the substance should be no more than 1-2 mg per liter, and chlorine vapor in the pool also disinfects the virus in the air.
You just need to make sure that the cleaning is carried out regularly, and the water does not stagnate. In this case, there will be no danger of becoming infected with the coronavirus while swimming for you. CSIC recommends that all pool-goers wash their hands and face with soap before swimming and, of course, maintain social distance.
According to the researchers, COVID-19 contamination in seawater is highly unlikely because the salt and sea volume help reduce the viral load and inactivate it. Bruce Ribner, a medical director of the US Emory University Hospital Serious Communicable Diseases Unit, says that in addition to the effect of sea salt on the coronavirus, one must also take into account the "dilution effect," which means that any secretions from sneezing and coughing will quickly dissolve in seawater without harm for others.
Spa centers and saunas
The disinfectants used in swimming pools and spas are usually enough to kill the virus. According to CSIC, an air temperature of over 60 degrees Celsius is maintained in saunas and steam baths, thanks to which the coronavirus has no chance to survive.
CSIC found three factors that make it difficult to get the coronavirus infection on the beach: sun, sea sand salinity, and surface roughness. Ultraviolet light destroys the virus in the sand, which itself contains remnants of sea salt.
According to CSIC research, one should avoid swimming in rivers, lakes, and streams during the pandemic, as the virus can survive in freshwater. If you have a choice of where to swim, then it is better to give preference to the pools and the sea.
CSIC does not yet have evidence that the virus can infect people when they bathe near wastewater where the coronavirus was found. But the likelihood of infection cannot be completely ruled out, since several analyzes of the feces of sick patients have confirmed the virus’s presence.
Scientists have recommended not visiting beaches near which there is wastewater.