Bacteria prompts closure of 2 Clark County public pools - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Bacteria prompts closure of 2 Clark County public pools

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The exterior of Desert Breeze Aquatic Facility in Las Vegas appears in this image from Monday, May 11. (FOX5) The exterior of Desert Breeze Aquatic Facility in Las Vegas appears in this image from Monday, May 11. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Two Clark County indoor public pools have been closed after tests revealed they had unacceptable levels of bacteria.

The Desert Breeze Aquatic Facility has been closed since April 27. The West Flamingo Adult Activity Pool is closed as well. An outside lab ran tests that indicated the presence of Staphylococcus epidermidis at the Desert Breeze facility. Tests revealed elevated bacteria at the West Flamingo pool, but the strain hasn't been released.

Clark County spokeswoman Stacey Welling said that in late April a handful of lifeguards at Desert Breeze reported having itchy skin. However, infectious disease expert Dr. Dhaval Shah said S. epidermidis may not have been the culprit.

“We shouldn't be concerned because it's the normal flora of the skin as long as it remains on the skin, but it can create an infection or become a problem when it gets access into a deeper layer of the skin by cut or bruise or abrasion and can cause an infection,” Shah said.

Shah said that without access to lab reports it's hard to say how powerful the strain of bacteria was.

Welling said that since the closures the county thoroughly disinfected the Desert Breeze pool, filtration system and surrounding areas. Still, a further lab test indicated the presence of S. epidermidis.

The county will next try a process called super chlorination.

“Sometimes, if it's a resistant strain, the cell wall of the bacteria has become thicker, and it's difficult to disinfect. We have seen this in the hospital,” Shah said.

“We closed the pools out of an abundance of caution, to err on the side of caution because it isn't something we've encountered before,” Welling said.

Welling said the pools will be tested again, and as soon as the tests come back negative, the pools will be reopened.

Shah said this could have started when someone who hadn't showered or who had an open wound entered the pool.

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