San Diego lifeguards say working conditions at the Children's Pool in La Jolla are tough; one lifeguard says it caused his spinal meningitis, reports the La Jolla Light.
Reportedly, the lifeguards at the pool are getting ill from harbor seal, seagull, pigeon, rat and squirrel waste at the beach and in the condemned lifeguard tower there, the paper reports.
Lifeguard Alex Riley says he missed one month of work in June after contracting spiral meningitis and being hospitalized for treatment. Riley is back on the job, but he told the La Jolla Light he has filed a claim with the city asking for back pay for the missed time.
“A lot of us (lifeguards) had respiratory issues off and on this whole past winter,” he said. “There’s definitely issues with air quality around here. The city should take responsibility for this situation. They’re supposed to be able to provide us with a safe, clean working environment, which they have not done.”
Riley claims the Children's Pool could be a hazardous place to work.
Sergeant Ed Harris, another lifeguard stationed at the Children's Pool, says he can't say if the recent illnesses are due to the feces buildup, but that in recent weeks they were forced to wash away the feces with a power washer.
He said on some parts of the tower roof, the feces was two-inches deep.
The County Health Department says they cannot release how many cases of meningitis have been reported in La Jolla, but that the disease is usually transmitted by intimate contact through the exchange of bodily fluids.
The health authorities say there were 98 cases of viral meningitis reported in the first six months of 2011 across San Diego County.