2nd Mesa pool closed in parasite scare - East Valley Tribune: News

2nd Mesa pool closed in parasite scare

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2008 12:17 pm | Updated: 10:42 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A popular Mesa pool will remain closed Saturday following word from Maricopa County that several people who had been swimming there are ill.

The pool at Carson Junior High School was closed two hours ahead of schedule at about 5 p.m. Friday and is expected to reopen at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The pool, located at 525 N. Westwood, is being superchlorinated as a precautionary measure, Mesa spokeswoman Heather Gray said.

Gray added that it wasn’t immediately known whether the illness, including diarrhea symptoms, was caused by the same parasite that sickened Valley residents in Phoenix and Tempe or if the parasite originated from Carson.

“All we know at this point is that the common factor is that some of these people who fell ill had all used the Carson facility,” Gray said.

Word of the pool’s closing comes on the heels of another Mesa pool reopening Friday afternoon. That pool, at Powell Junior High School, was closed for a day following word from Maricopa County health officials that a woman infected with the cryptosporidium parasite had been swimming there.

The pool, on the city’s west side, was closed late Thursday for superchlorination. Swimming lessons scheduled for late Thursday were postponed to Friday.

Mesa recreation supervisor Darla Armfield termed the closure and chlorination “a precautionary measure” to “kill all parasites.”

Mesa conducted other indicator tests following last week’s cryptosporidium outbreak in Phoenix and those tests returned negative.

Also on Thursday, the city sent water samples from Carson and Brimhall junior high schools — to check for the presence of cryptosporidium. Results from those are expected next week.

Twenty-nine pools had to be closed in Phoenix after dozens of swimmers and lifeguards fell ill at a West Valley pool.

County officials informed Mesa late Thursday that an infected woman had used the Powell pool, and Mesa then decided to close the pool at 855 W. Eighth Ave. Armfield said the woman had enrolled for swimming lessons and had swum in the pool July 14 and 15. She had apparently visited other public pools in the Valley and was infected before she swam at Powell, Gray said. This is the only Mesa pool the person had visited.

Mesa officials insist there’s no reason to fear using any of the 10 city-run pools. They say Mesa does regular checks to maintain water quality standards.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common symptoms of an infection through the parasite include diarrhea, nausea and cramps.

Symptoms can last up to two weeks.

The CDC Web site states that “the parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very resistant to chlorine disinfection.”

It’s spread through the feces of an infected person or an animal and can be contracted through ingestion of a contaminated item, such as water.

Meanwhile, Tempe Town Lake’s splash playground is expected to remain closed next week as tests continue to check for the intestinal parasite after a sample returned positive for cryptosporidium.

All the Phoenix pools are open.

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