Re: hot springs are dangerous

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Posted by Bodie the Dog on January 29, 2004 at 18:31:56:

In Reply to: Re: Map to get to hot springs posted by Read this on the hot springs!!!!! on January 28, 2004 at 22:41:50:

There's a reason Nevada is paying for those billboards along the freeways warning people to "stay out and stay alive."

Burn injuries are the most obvious thing to watch for, generally due to collapsing ground, sometimes well back from the visible thermal source.

There's also the danger of amoebic encephylitis. A tiny organism lives in some warm waters (most cases have been in Florida, I believe, but cases have occurred at Deep Creek and Ringbolt springs). If it gets in your nose, it starts munching its way up your olfactory nerve, until it hits your brain. It takes about a week of flu symptoms, then you suddenly die.

Poisonous gases should also be watched for, especially in one of those cave-type hot springs you'll find from time to time. People have passed out and drowned, a hot spring in Clear Lake being filled in with concrete for that very reason. I've gotten light-headed in a spring in the same area, enough to scare me. Could have been my buzz, though.

Broken glass and other trash thrown in springs is a problem that will bite you that one time that you didn't wear shoes. (I've got a cool scar on my left foot from that one.)

Staph infections can be transmitted through sharing warm water with others who have that problem.

A rowdy crowd sometimes loiters near hot springs, endangering others with their wanton partying and general disregard for public safety. A related problem is the possibility of STD's.

Plus they're just plain gross, all that blue-green algae, etc. Then there was the time we soaked for half an hour before we found the dead rattlesnake in the source. Or the other time we found a dead rat in the source. And if you don't rinse off thoroughly afterwards, and you're camping, well, you'll be scratching for a while.

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