Pool closed af­ter le­gionella found

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JACK­SON THOMAS

A spa pool at the One­hunga War Memo­rial Pool and Leisure Cen­tre will be closed for weeks fol­low­ing the de­tec­tion of le­gionella bac­te­ria.

The Auck­land Coun­cil-owned fa­cil­ity closed a spa pool on July 5 fol­low­ing word from the Auck­land Re­gional Pub­lic Health Ser­vice (ARPHS) that the bac­te­ria had been de­tected in a wa­ter sam­ple. Chief op­er­a­tions man­ager Arvid Ditch­burn said the spa would re­main closed for up to three weeks while ARPHS car­ried out tests.

Auck­land Univer­sity as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Si­mon Swift said the bac­te­ria could cause two dis­eases, Pon­tiac Fever and le­gion­naires dis­ease. The lat­ter could be a se­ri­ous and po­ten­tially fa­tal in­fec­tion, he said.

‘‘Most peo­ple ex­posed to the bac­te­ria do not get sick and it is treat­able with an­tibi­otics, but the bac­te­ria caus­ing the in­fec­tion does need to be iden­ti­fied,’’ Swift said.

‘‘Heat above 60 de­grees kills this bac­te­ria, a good flow of wa­ter with­out stag­nant ar­eas stops it colonis­ing and clean­ing the pipes and re­mov­ing any slime that might grow should get rid of it.’’

The pe­riod be­tween ex­po­sure and on­set of symp­toms is usu­ally two to 10 days. Ditch­burn said there were no im­me­di­ate risks to con­tam­i­na­tion in the other pools, but the spa would not re-opened un­til a neg­a­tive test was re­turned.

SUP­PLIED

A spa pool at the One­hunga War Memo­rial Pool and Leisure Cen­tre will be closed for weeks af­ter le­gionella bac­te­ria was de­tected.

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