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Putnam County Department of Health

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A PHAB Accredited Health Department

The Putnam County Department of Health is made of several divisions all working towards improving and protecting the health of the community. Click on one of the options below to learn more about that division.

Cool Off This Summer, Safely!

02 August 2023

With the “Dog Days of Summer” here—and according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, they start July 3 and run for six weeks—there is nothing like a refreshing swim in the pool. Cooling off by swimming or enjoying other water activities are highly recommended as long as they are done safely. Drowning is usually the first thing people think of when they talk about swimming safety. Remember however, that drowning and other water injuries are not the only concerns. There are also germs that can contaminate both a pool and open water which may make a person sick. The diseases caused by these germs are called recreational water illnesses or swimming-related illnesses.

People who are most at risk are children, pregnant women and individuals who have health problems or take medicines that lower their body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the CDC, recommends that people with weakened immune systems speak with their doctor before swimming or participating in recreational water activities because some germs may be especially harmful for this group.

The most common symptom of swimming-related illness is diarrhea. Other common symptoms include skin rashes, cough and congestion, and ear and eye pain.

The Putnam County Department of Health offers the following advice for avoiding swimming-related illnesses:

  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming.
  • Dry your ears after swimming.
  • Don’t swim if you are sick. If an adult or child has been sick with diarrhea in the past two , they should stay out of the water to avoid contaminating it with germs. Even a very tiny amount of poop—the size of a few grains of sand—can cause illness if swallowed.
  • Provide frequent bathroom breaks for young healthy children. Germs can spread easily in both pool and open waters if swim diapers or swimsuit become soiled.
  • Before and after swimming in pools, splash pads and hot tubs, rinse off in at least a one-minute shower.

For more information on preventing swimming-related illnesses, visit:


Welcome Message

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health is to improve and protect the health of our community.

We strive to prevent the spread of disease, protect against environmental hazards, promote healthy lifestyles, ensure access to quality health services, and respond to disasters.

We encourage you to explore our website and contact us if you have any questions.

In the event of an emergency, Health Department staff are available 24/7. Please call 845-808-1390 to report a public health emergency, rabies exposure, communicable disease, water outage or sewer overflow.
If you are a member of the media and would like to contact the health department, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact the Department of Health

  • Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD

    Commissioner of Health

Putnam County Office Building

40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, New York 10512

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