Biological warfare expert warns tourists to 'never get in a pool in Las Vegas'
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It’s well and truly holiday season, and for some lucky lot it’s time for Vegas, baby.
And it’s not just a trip of blackjack, poker and slot machines but typically, pool parties at fancy hotels in the sun.
However, a biological warfare specialist is warning tourists to stay away from the water in Las Vegas pools.
Dan Kaszeta was once a chemical Officer in the US army. In his career, he’s worked with the Pentagon on chemical and biological proliferation issues and has a lot of history in research for the US’ decommissioned chemical and biological weapons programs to training on live nerve agents.
His Twitter bio literally reads ‘King of Nerve Agent Twitter’ so basically, he’s the exact kinda science guy you’d listen to on stuff like this.
He claimed in a previous tweet: “As a specialist in chemical and biological warfare, take this warning from me. Never get in a pool in Las Vegas. Don’t even touch the water.”
Obviously, he ruffled the feathers of the Sin City pool lover lot, so shared some rather unsettling details to explain why.
Explaining when he was ‘the chemical and biological terrorism guy at the White House Military Office’ in the late 90s, he claims he was called up to help a guy from ‘another Federal agency’.
He says the request went something like this: “Dan, ya gotta help me. I'm working this case in Vegas. It's probably nothing but it could be a bio thing. But I need access to a lab that can keep this on the downlow until we know what the deal is."
Some of the ‘control samples’ included tap water and some swimming pool water from a ‘major hotel’. And in a turn not expected from the research, the ‘suspicious liquid’ that had kicked off the actual investigation was ‘relatively harmless'.
But Kaszeta continued: “The sample that had one of the finest labs in the country alarmed so much was, erm, the control sample from the pool water. It was, to use a technical phrase ‘a shop of horrors’.
“So, I asked the good scientists what was in this sample. They said it was easier to say what WASN'T in the sample.”
Turns out the pool water contained a ‘soup of’ things Kaszeta didn’t even know existed as well as: “Alarming levels of
Giardia and Cryptosporidium, both highly resistant to chlorine. A huge number of metabolites from human urine. Fecal matter, human, mammal, and avian. Trace amounts of cocaine, ketamine, and several different opiates.
“Adenoviruses. A weak immunochromatographic hit for Tularemia (not conclusive). Campylobacter.”
They ended up testing other pool waters and the Potomac River water ‘was safer’.
Basically, the lesson is that while chlorination kills some things, it doesn’t kill everything.
What happens in Vegas, stays in the pool water.
Really this problem could just be with swimming pools in general – not just in Las Vegas.
But also, the majority of people who use them don’t get sick. So probably just don’t go around ingesting a load of the water.