Dozens Of People Had Gastrointestinal Illnesses After Visiting Splash Park

By Bill Galluccio

August 8, 2022

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Photo: Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that dozens of people got sick in two separate outbreaks at a Kansas splash park last summer.

The CDC study found that 21 people contracted Shigella bacteria during a visit to Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard on June 11. However, according to the Witchita Eaglelocal officials initially reported that just eight people got sick.

One week later, on June 18, six people contracted norovirus while at the park. The next day, park officials shut down the splash pad. The park reopened in July 2021 after working with the CDC to improve the filtration system.

The CDC said that water samples from four sand filters, seven pumps, and a collection tank were tested for Shigella and fecal indicator bacteria. The bacteria was found in three of the seven pumps, which fed water to the splash pad features. In addition, E. coli was detected in one of the pumps.

The CDC said that four people had to be hospitalized for a few days. An additional 36 people reported they suffered a gastrointestinal illness after visiting the park but did not have lab tests to confirm what caused the condition.

Three lawsuits have been filed against the park. One has been settled, and the other two are pending.

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