Tainted Water In New York Spraypark Sickens Hundreds

Nearly 800 people have become infected with a nasty gastrointestinal virus called cryptosporidiosis after exposure at something called a “spraypark” in New York’s Senace Lake Park.

Tainted Water In New York Spraypark Sickens Hundreds (AP)

Gastrointestinal illness possibly stemming from a state-run water playground has sickened more than 700 people, mostly children and teenagers, the state Health Department said Thursday. “The numbers are growing significantly,” said department spokesman Rob Kenny.

Seneca Lake Park’s Sprayground, which has water jets shooting up from a hardtop surface, was closed after tests showed the tank system that feeds the water jets was contaminated with a common waterborne disease called cryptosporidiosis. The disease is highly contagious and can cause diarrhea, nausea and fever that can last for weeks. It usually goes away without treatment in healthy individuals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Five of the illnesses from the Sprayground have so far been confirmed as cryptosporidiosis.

No deaths have been associated with the outbreak, and many of the people connected with the outbreak have already recovered, Kenny said.

The Sprayground averages more than a thousand visitors a day in August. It is in the Finger Lakes region, about 45 miles southwest of Syracuse.

Syracuse’s Post-Standard adds more details: More illnesses linked to spraypark

Hundreds of people in an eight-county area suffering the symptoms of an intestinal illness are tracing their sickness to the spraypark at Seneca Lake State Park, state health officials say.

The number continues to grow. Since the Geneva spraypark/intestinal illness connection was first reported earlier this week, a total of 769 adults and children are, or have been, affected by gastrointestinal illness. Some of those experienced symptoms as early as July, but did not report it until this week, according to state Department of Health officials.

Oddly, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has the number at 1738.

Water parks and public swimming pools are well known as incubators for filth. I recall an incident (now six years ago!) where then-Atlanta Braves shortstop Walt Weiss’ son, Brody, was nearly killed from such an infection.

One would think guidelines would be implemented to keep children with soiled diapers, the likely culprit here, out of the water. I suppose it’s easier said than done.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. McGehee says:

    One would think guidelines would be implemented to keep children with soiled diapers, the likely culprit here, out of the water. I suppose it’s easier said than done.

    Not really. You establish a rule that children in diapers simply are not allowed into the pool area, and that violators, and their accompanying adult(s), will be ejected and banned from the pool until the child is old enough to attend to its own eliminative functions without assistance. And then you hire a latter-day W.C. Fields to enforce it.

    Our society has become so accommodating to irresponsible parents that we’re making innocent people sick rather than risk giving Recent Mommy an excuse for a hissy fit.