Last week, the CDC reported two outbreaks of acute gastrointestinal illness that originated at a splash pad in a Kansas wildlife park.
One of the outbreaks resulted in twenty-one cases of shigellosis due to a bacteria known as shigella.
According to the Mayo Clinic, shigellosis occurs after coming into contact with and swallowing human stool.
The infection is highly contagious and mainly results in bloody diarrhea, as well as fever, nausea, and stomach cramps.
The second outbreak was caused by norovirus and led to six cases of illness. Norovirus most commonly spreads in crowded environments through exposure to food, water, or surfaces that are contaminated.
Much like shigellosis, norovirus also results in diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms typically last for one to three days.
However, the CDC has since reported that both outbreaks stemmed from patrons getting contaminated splash park water in their mouths while visiting the wildlife park.
Contributing factors were also cited as inadequate splash pad disinfection, training, and equipment.
Now, officials have urged all parks containing splash pads and similar water environments, as well as caregivers of children, to be diligent with outbreak prevention efforts.
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