The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
made a lasting impression on social media
on Thursday when it shared a memorable GIF urging good pool hygiene:
If you or your children
are sick with diarrhea
, do not swim or allow them to swim in the pool. One person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool. Learn more ways to keep yourself and those you care about healthy. #HealthySwimming https://t.co/3ogS3ZlQX6
pic.twitter.com/lbN6uvvufu — CDC
(@CDCgov) July 1, 2021
“Don’t swim or allow your children to swim if they are sick with diarrhea,” the agency tweeted alongside the GIF, which depicts an animated woman slipping down a pool slide with poop
trailing behind her
. “One person with diarrhea can contaminate the entire pool.”
According to the CDC, “diarrhea is the most common illness spread through recreational water
,” and some of the germs responsible for the squirt can live in chlorinated water for days.
The agency even provided a detailed description of how the disease spreads.
“Tiny amounts of poop are rinsed off swimmers’ bottoms as they swim through the water. If someone with infectious diarrhea (which can contain up to one billion germs) gets in recreational water, germs can be washed off their bottom and contaminate the water,” according to the passage. “These germs can make someone else sick if they swallow even a small amount of contaminated water.”
If you have diarrhea, obviously don't go in the water; if it's caused by cryptosporidium, the CDC advises waiting two weeks after symptoms have subsided before returning to the pool.
It also included two very important pieces of advice, even if you don't have diarrhea: "don't poop in the water" and "don't swallow the water."
And, if that isn't enough, the CDC has an entire webpage dedicated to the effects of poop- and pee-filled pools on your eyes and lungs.
But it was all about the GIF for many people
The agency has been using some variation of the image for years, but this week's tweet is spreading like, well, you get the idea:
We thought we had shitposting all figured out... guess not https://t.co/OMqZcyGmbO
— Tumblr (@tumblr) July 1, 2021
This will be remembered: https://t.co/s91ywojuoW
— Arrianna Marie Planey, MA PhD (@Arrianna_Planey) July 1, 2021
I'm sure a government employee was paid to make this. (Tax dollars at work
?) Who at the @CDCgov approved the image of a girl pooping on a water slide? https://t.co/5HtrqqA0eI
— Alissa Batts (@alissa_batts) July 1, 2021
Someone FOIA'd the email conversation about approving this gif for public release: https://t.co/0bKgfAGPfB
— Rachel Alexander (@rachelwalexande) July 1, 2021
— Trista McGlamery (@tristamac) July 1, 2021
We simply would not have received the message had it not been for the brown poop smear https://t.co/Iox0zQrR1v
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEmovienerd) July 1, 2021
Someone at the CDC was unfortunate enough to be tasked with creating a diarrheal GIF. https://t.co/3sPm3ROE4n
— Whitney Zahnd (@WhitneyZahnd) July 2, 2021
"I believe we've covered every possible angle on COVID; now it's time to return to the other great evil in our midst. Shitting." https://t.co/A9vWxX9cei
— Keith Gealbháin (@KeithGalvin) July 1, 2021