News Briefs

CDC finds E. coli in water samples from Goddard park

By: - July 2, 2021 6:22 pm

Cases of a diarrheal infection and several reports from parents of sick and hospitalized children led Tanganyika Wildlife Park to close its splash zone Saturday. (Photo by Lee Jeffs/Unsplash)

Water samples from a Goddard splash pad linked to widespread illness contained E. coli, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Friday.

KDHE began investigating the Tanganyika Wildlife Park after learning June 18 that numerous visitors to the park’s splash pad had reported being sick. Some cases required hospital attention.

Water samples collected by KDHE and tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detected coliform and E. coli bacteria.

KDHE said six people have now tested positive for Shigella bacteria, which releases toxins that irritate the intestines. Other people have tested positive for norovirus, sapovirus and enteropathogenic E. coli.

The test results indicate likely fecal contamination, the agency said.

The park closed its splash pad on June 19. Health officials continue to investigate.

The Wichita Eagle reports 47 people have joined a lawsuit against the park after becoming violently ill and suffering from “repeated bouts of vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and fever.”

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Sherman Smith
Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith is the editor in chief of Kansas Reflector. He writes about things that powerful people don't want you to know. A two-time Kansas Press Association journalist of the year, his award-winning reporting includes stories about education, technology, foster care, voting, COVID-19, sex abuse, and access to reproductive health care. Before founding Kansas Reflector in 2020, he spent 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2004, back when the school still valued English and journalism. He was raised in the country at the end of a dead end road in Lyon County.