This is truly a bizarre story:
An 11-year-old girl caught gonorrhoea from a natural thermal pool in Italy while on holiday, doctors have revealed...
She is believed to have caught the infection, which is usually transmitted sexually, from the water, which had been used by a person with gonorrhoea.
Temperatures in the pools can come close to body temperature, and in this case could have provided a way for the bacteria to infect the young girl, experts claimed.
Of course, there was a discussion on Twitter where I found the story, along the usual lines, but personally I do believe it's possible, even though "experts"" long denied it, just like with the HPV which I had written about on this blog some time before.
Remember how we were told that in Middle Ages people were dirty because they supposedly hated bathing? The truth is that they actually used to have public baths before, but then the plague and other epidemics started and they figured out it had something to do with water, so people stopped using them.
Cholera is spread through water, too. Same was true about polio and some other diseases. My mother was a health and safety inspector and I remember her controlling water in lakes used for swimming, to check for infections. Sometimes I wonder if the elimination of polio had something to do not only with vaccines, but with the disappearance of open sewer systems.
For instance, in some rural parts of the Netherlands they still used an outhouse till somewhere in the mid 1960s (!), and they were mostly situated above channels (just read an article about it in Country Life) so that everything dropped into (you guessed it) water, and probably found its way into nearby lakes which the kids then used for swimming in summer.
Of course, commercial pools nowadays are using such amounts of chlorine they'd probably kill anything (whether it's good for your health, is another story), but our modern obsession with swimming in natural waters unless it's a sea/ocean could be something to ponder about...