Things That Matter

The CDC Shared A GIF Warning About Swimming With Diarrhea And Twitter Can’t Handle It

After more than a year of dire updates and regulations about the deadly realities of COVID-19, perhaps the American public was waiting for a sign that they can enjoy their summers and share a laugh by the pool. And the CDC delivered, in a very questionable way.

Over the weekend, the CDC tweeted a reminder to people to avoid swimming while they have diarrhea. To many this is simple common sense, but it’s apparently a lot more common than we might think. But it wasn’t the warning itself that got people’s attention as the tweet was accompanied by a graphic GIF that left little to the imagination.

The CDC’s warning about swimming with diarrhea has gone totally viral.

Ahead of the July 4 weekend, the CDC posted a series of colorful graphics warning against the dangers of swimming while suffering from diarrhea, including a gif of a gleeful child going down a slide while leaving an unmistakable brown streak in her wake.

“Don’t leave your mark at the pool this summer!” the CDC quipped on Twitter

Some were upset that the CDC was spending tax dollars on such a basic campaign. But the CDC animations aren’t simply addressing wee-little problems. No, they are trying to get to the bottom of what have continued to be very real issues. Back in 2019, Forbes detailed how the CDC has been trying to get Americans to stop treating swimming pools like toilets. The 2019 Healthy Pools survey revealed that 40% of the adults surveyed admitted to peeing in swimming pools. Yes, full grown adults. And this was only the ones who were willing to admit that they were doing the Free Willy thing in pools.

Swimming while ill is bad for so many different reasons.

The tweet is oddly mesmerizing, and very funny despite it covering a very serious topic. Contaminated swimming pools can cause serious illness, especially for young people. But the image associated with the post was ripe for jokes, which is what social media was flooded with in the aftermath of the slide down the tube.

And the CDC isn’t without reason as many people took to Twitter to share pool horror stories.

Although most people though the CDC messaging was unnecessary, with many saying that their advice was common sense, some had horror stories to share nevertheless. Denise R. knows the stomach-churning dangers of pool dumps all too well and keeps her guard up anytime she wades in. Two years ago, she was at a public drink in New York City when everyone was forced to evacuate after an errant turd was spotted in the waters.

“That was it for me. I was done with getting in the water,” the Williamsburg resident recalled. “You got little kids, they can’t control it … that’s why I try to stay away. I don’t let my hair get wet. I don’t like water in my face,” she told the New York Post.

But other Twitterers felt that such dumps on the CDC animations were not fair. As you can see, Amanda Krupa, MSc,a Public Health Communications Consultatnt and former Editor of at the American Academy of Pediatrics, responded, “hey it got your attention didn’t it?”

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