An Outline of Biological Hazards to Swimmers in Tropical and Subtropical Waters,
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES-NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL WASHINGTON D C MINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
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This report points out that the tropics are not a simple paradise just because some of the familiar local hazards are absent. Even the foregoing partial list of potential hazards is rather distressing. However, though there is a greater abundance of biological hazards in tropical areas, it is useful to compare the situation in ones home country. Thus a list of hazards around the continential United States of America might include killer whales, sharks, stingrays, Portugese men-o-war, swamps with snakes and malaria, poison oak, nettles, swimmers itch, schistosomes, hookworm, sea urchins, alligators, etc. If one chooses or is forced to go in water which is heavily contaminated, then one will probably get sick, e.g., if one swims in water known to contain schistosomes, then he will probably get schistosomiasis, with possibly fatal results.