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Could Boating, Fishing Or Swimming Make You Sick? Study Says Yes

Satellite Beach. Photo by Amy Green

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A new study shows that boating and swimming can make you sick.

The study attributes some 90 million cases of gastrointestinal, respiratory and other illnesses to water-related recreational activities.

The study focuses on illnesses like those of the ear, eye and skin that result from recreational activities involving lakes, oceans and rivers.

The estimated cost is at nearly $3 billion a year in lost wages and other expenses.

Sam Dorevitch of the University of Illinois at Chicago says the illnesses represent some 2 percent of all water-related recreational use in the U.S.

He says the number could be higher, as the relationship would be hard to establish if the patient waits a few days after boating before visiting the doctor.

Dorevitch says the findings justify infrastructure projects aimed at improving water quality.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment for 90.7 News. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a regular contributor for NPR, PEOPLE, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and many other top news organizations. Her in-progress book on the Everglades is under contract with Johns ... Read Full Bio »