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2 public pools closed after Staph bacteria discovered | News

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2 public pools closed after Staph bacteria discovered

 LAS VEGAS -- Clark County officials have closed two public pools after elevated levels of staph bacteria was found in the water.

The Desert Breeze Acquatic Center's pool was closed on April 27 and the pool at the West Flamingo adult facility was closed on May 6. The water at both pools was tested after employees developed skin rashes.

A man who said he would go swimming everyday at the Desert Breeze Aquatic Center pool said the facility's "closed to further notice" sign has been up for a while now.

"I've been checking here almost daily to see how they're doing, so far it's not good," said Bill Johnson, daily swimmer.

Clark County said routine daily tests of the pools didn't raise any red flags.

"They made sure the PH, the chlorine and alkalinity were all within parameters which they were," said Stacey Welling, Clark County.

The county doesn't usually test for staph bacteria, but it's following standards set by the World Health Organization. When officials sent off samples from inside the pool to a lab, one came back positive for a form of Staphylococcus.  

"We disinfected every surface within the pool. Everything from the showers to the decks to the bathrooms. Every surface and then we did another test with the same lab and it came back with a second strain," Welling said.

Doctors said this form of staph bacteria isn't all that common.

"It's actually carried in the nose, in about 30-35 percent of people, and on the skin, said Dr. Justin Maxwell, HealthCare Partners.

Dr. Maxwell said the bacteria also could have lived on surfaces around the pool for quite some time.  He said it gets into the body through small cuts or tears in the skin.

"If the PH is off, or the chlorine content is not high enough, then you can become infected with that," Dr. Maxwell said.

Dr. Maxwell said the best defense against Staphylococcus is good hygiene.

For now, Clark County said it's working with a consultant to get the Desert Breeze and West Flamingo pools completely disinfected and open.

"As long as we're under the World Health Organizations standards we'll go ahead and open up the pools," said Welling.

Pools at Hollywood Aquatic Center and Cora Coleman are also being tested. The two closed pools will not open until testing shows the water is safe.