Molluscum contagiosum, swimming and bathing: a clinical analysis.

Choong KY, Roberts LJ
Australas J Dermatol. 1999 40 (2): 89-92

PMID: 10333619 · DOI:10.1046/j.1440-0960.1999.00327.x

The link between swimming and bathing behaviour, and molluscum contagiosum (MC), in a sample of 198 patients with clinically confirmed MC was investigated. Results show that of all the swimming behaviour variables tested, only one (swimming in a school swimming pool) was significant. In relation to the bathing variables tested, only two (sharing a bath sponge with a MC-infected person, and sharing a bath towel with a MC-infected person), were significant. No relationship was found between MC and swimming in a private (home) pool, swimming in a public pool, swimming at the beach, sharing a bath tub with a MC-infected person, and using a private (home) spa. The Relative Risk (RR) ratio of a person sharing a bath sponge with an infected person is three times more at risk of procuring a severe case of MC infection (i.e. > 26 lesions) than a person who does not share a bath sponge with an infected person (r = 0.5; P < 0.01). There was a correlation found between the mode of MC acquisition by site location (r = 0.63; P < 0.05). The anatomical position of MC lesions was shown to be highly dependent on the way the patient was primarily infected. There was also an additive effect with the mode of transmission in that patients who were in the upper extremes in terms of the total number of lesions (average, 124 lesions; mean diameter size, 4.2 mm; n = 42), were those patients who shared a number of fomites (bath sponge, bath towel) with a known MC-infected person, and also swam at the school swimming pool.

MeSH Terms (15)

Adolescent Adult Bathing Beaches Baths Child Child, Preschool Female Humans Infant Male Middle Aged Molluscum Contagiosum Risk Factors Swimming Pools Water Microbiology

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