Parents and others often ask if molluscum virus can spread in swimming pools. There is also concern that it can spread by sharing swimming equipment, pool toys, or towels.
Some investigations report that spread of molluscum contagiosum is increased in swimming pools. However, it has not been proved how or under what circumstances swimming pools might increase spread of the virus. Activities related to swimming might be the cause. For example, the virus might spread from one person to another if they share a towel or toys. More research is needed to understand if and for how long the molluscum virus can live in swimming pool water and if such water can infect swimmers.
Open sores and breaks in the skin can become infected by many different germs. Therefore, people with open sores or breaks from any cause should not go into swimming pools.
If a person with molluscum is going swimming, they should:
- Cover all visible lesions with watertight bandages
- Dispose of all used bandages at home
- Not share towels, kick boards, other equipment, or toys
For more information see: Swimming Pool Recommendations
- Page last reviewed: May 11, 2015
- Page last updated: May 11, 2015
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