Swimming club accepts responsibility after more than 200 children fall ill

A swimming club in northern China admitted responsibility on Wednesday for more than 200 children members falling ill after taking lessons in their pool, a mainland newspaper reports.

The hygiene department in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, started investigating the Feiyu swimming club after 225 children were reported as having bacterial infections, such as high fever and inflamed eyes, the Beijing Times reported.

Swimmers run the risk of infection even if pools are well maintained

A 6-year-old who started the swimming class on August 6 was diagnosed after his fifth class with hand, foot and mouth disease, pneumonia and Epstein-Barr virus. The latter is best known for causing mononucleosis but can lead to more serious diseases.

The swimming club started operation in 2005. However, its hygiene certificate had been expired for more than two months, according to the report.

Excessive levels of urine found in three Beijing public swimming pools

The club said its water quality could have caused the children’s illnesses and it planned to set up a fund to cover their medical treatment and medicine costs.

Most of the sick children had taken classes in the children’s pool since late July. The pool was now closed, a club spokesman said.

The hygiene department in Harbin has collected water samples from the pools for investigation. The results will be released later, the authority said.

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