What diseases can you get from a hot tub?


There is a significant difference between diseases you can get from a hot tub and fungal infections or bacterial infections. A disease is defined as a disorder within the human body that has a known cause and a specific group of symptoms. 

When it comes to diseases from a hot tub, you can get diagnosed with a few. The most notable disease you can get is called Legionnaires disease. This disease stems from a Legionella infection that is untreated or made worse by frequent hot tub use. 

But, apart from serious diseases, you can get primary infections, fungal infections, and bacterial infections from hot tubs. These other infections we will go over below. 

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Maguire Electric / Google Stock Images

What infections can you catch from a hot tub?

If you are in a dirty hot tub and not being taken care of properly, you can catch loads of infections. The following infections listed below are sometimes reported from those swimming or spending time in dirty hot tubs.

  • Hot tub lung: This type of infection is solely caused by bacteria from a group called Mycobacterium Avium Complex. Sometimes known as MAC bacteria, they live in warm water so, under the proper conditions, these bacteria become aerosolized. From there, they can attach to air bubbles and a hot tub’s water line and cause inflammation in your lungs, which leads to breathing issues, fatigue, and cough. 
  • Hot tub rash: Hot tub rash is the most common infection that many will receive when swimming in dirty hot tubs. This rash will become itchy and red, causing discomfort for up to a few weeks. 
  • Legionella infections: Legionella is a bacteria that can cause serious diseases such as pneumonia. These bacterias thrive in hot and moist environments and can be found in water droplets or contaminated steam.  
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UCLA Health / Google Stock Images
  • UTI: A urinary tract infection is caused by a bacteria called pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is actually in the same realm of bacteria that causes hot tub rash. When a UTI occurs, your kidneys and bladder become affected, causing pain when using the bathroom, fever, and nausea. 
  • Ear infections: Ear infections are common in dirty hot tubs. This type of infection occurs when bacteria cause problems in your middle ear, and trap fluids that end up causing swelling and pain. 

Can you get a fungal infection from a hot tub?

Yes, you can get fungal infections from hot tubs. Some of the infections we have listed above are fungal, whereas others are bacterial. A hot tub rash is the most common fungal infection you can get from a hot tub. 

Can a hot tub give you a bacterial infection?

Yes, similar to the question above, bacterial infections are sometimes common in dirty and uncared-for hot tubs. 

How do I know if my hot tub has bacteria?

As you now know, you can find various types of bacteria in hot tubs. If you are questioning whether your hot tub has bacteria, there are a few things you can look out for. If your hot tub has a sour smell or unclear water, odds are you have bacteria in your hot tub. 

Additionally, if your hot tub’s walls or floor is slimy, you likely have an overgrowth of bacteria. Generally, you will be able to smell or see bacteria in your hot tub long before you experience any infections. 

To test your hot tub for bacteria, you can simply start by taking a small sample of your hot tub’s water to a local professional for testing. From here, they will take your small sample and analyze it for various bacteria growths. These professionals will be able to pinpoint the exact type of bacteria growing in your hot tub and notify you of all potential threats this bacteria holds.

Image Credits
Swimming Pool Company in Hickory, NC / Google Stock Images

What bacteria grows in hot tubs?

Many are unaware of a few types of bacteria that can grow in your hot tub. Some of these bacteria types include:

  • Crypto: This type of bacteria is a parasite that isn’t too common anymore but can still be found in unclean hot tubs. This parasite will get into the body and cause infections and diarrhea for extended periods of time. 
  • Pseudomonas and Legionella: These two bacteria are strong against disinfectants and cleaners and can get into the body via the skin, eyes, or nose. Legionella can cause severe diseases and various infections.


  • Jason

    Jason is an experienced writer, having contributed to many popular websites over the years. He currently writes for Big Hot Tub, a blog about everything hot tubs. When he's not writing or working on his blog, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.