Several children have been infected by E. coli after playing at a public park in Washington City, Utah, according to reports.
KSTU, in a video report, said that the children had been playing at Nisson Park.
According to a local news website, the St. George News, a viral social media post from a family friend warned people to stay away from the park. The water in a nearby stream has been blamed for the rash of E. coli and giardia infections.
The Southwest Public Health Department confirmed the cases of E. coli, but officials are not sure it came from the water at the park.
A social media post said that members of three families, including young children, visited Nisson Park for a family reunion, and they experienced cases of giardia and E. coli.
“The kids played in the water and now all 3 families have come down with Ecoli and (giardia),” a post stated, according to the St. George News. “(Two) kids are in the hospital and one is in critical condition and they don’t know if he will pull through. They are only 6 and 8 years old.”
The post has since been deleted.
City Councilman Daniel Cluff told the website that he saw the social media post.
“We want to make sure we’re taking care of people,” Cluff said. “Public safety is a primary focus in what we do.”
KSL reported that the water is being tested. Officials said that results for the water “showed levels of E. coli well below the levels at which waters should be closed for health reasons.”
City officials said that they’re going to “monitor the situation” amid an investigation, KSL reported.
The local health department issued a statement on the matter.
The statement says: “Washington City has been in contact with the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, who have been investigating several cases of E.coli infection. One of the possible sources of the infection is the open irrigation water in Nisson Park.”
It adds: “As these waters are untreated, it will be difficult to identify whether the infections came from the irrigation water, as most untreated surface water has some E.coli in it. The returned test results showed levels of E.coli well below the levels at which waters should be closed for health reasons.”
“Even though the test has not identified reasons for concern about the waters in the park, we will monitor the situation as the Health Department continues its investigation to make sure the health of the community is protected,” the post continues.
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