Puna’s ‘Hot Pond’ Park to Reopen Friday
The county will reopen Ahalanui Park in Puna Friday after testing by the state Department of Health showed bacterial levels safe for swimming.
The park’s geothermally heated “hot pond” will be reopened at 7 a.m., said a spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Parks and Recreation Director Clayton Honma closed the park Sept. 26 out of “an abundance of caution” after department officials learned from media accounts that a man who had gone swimming there three weeks earlier had been hospitalized with what was reportedly a case of flesh-eating bacteria, or necrotizing fasciitis.
The park has been closed since, but DOH testing has shown “no evidence to suggest the pond water is contaminated,” the department said in a press release today.
“The Department of Health wishes to remind the public not to go swimming with an open cut,” the statement said. “Signs posted in ‘Ahalanui Park warn against this activity.”
Open wounds, according to state health experts, should be kept clean, dry and covered to prevent infection, which can come from anywhere, including from bacteria that live naturally on the human body.