A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that dozens got sick after visiting a splash pad at a Kansas wildlife park last summer.
Two outbreaks of both the Shigella bacteria and the norovirus were connected with the splash pad at Tanganyika Wildlife Park near Wichita, Kansas, in June 2021. The park is home to a zoo of animal exhibits as well as the Tanganyika Falls Splash Park.
Most of those affected were children, though adults were also affected.The CDC reports at least 21 people with shigellosis and six with the norovirus, all of whom were noted to have gotten water from the splash pad into their mouths.
Both the bacterial and viral outbreaks associated with the park can be transmitted through contaminated water.
Most of those affected were children, though adults were also affected. The splash pad was intended for use by children under age 5, the CDC noted.
The park was forced to close briefly after visitors began reporting illnesses, and lawsuits have been filed over the outbreak, according to the Associated Press.
The Tanganyika park reopened after implementing new safety codes, and its website lists a number of protections in place to keep the splash pad safe, including disinfection systems and “abundantly displayed signange” informing guests of proper hygiene procedures. The park notes the current setup complies with “the gold standard for aquatic facilities.”
The Hill has reached out to Tanganyika Wildlife Park for comment.
The CDC study analyzed data from 404 one-time park visitors between May 28 and June 19, 2021.