Aug. 6, 2019 By Max Murray
Parts of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park have been sanitized following a Shigellosis outbreak that infected 32 people.
In mid-July, during the blistering heat wave, scores of Queens parents took their children to cool down in the water sprinklers across NYC parks.
However, many parents who took their children to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to escape the heat came to regret their decision.
Within a few days many children became feverish, nauseous, and/or had diarrhea.
The Health Department said in a statement that it investigated a Shigellosis outbreak associated with the park after “several individuals reported symptoms after playing in a playground with a splash pad or a large fountain.”
According to NY1, some individuals were hospitalized for their infections.
The Health Dept. noted that there have been 32 cases associated with the park and that it worked with the Parks Dept. to sanitize a number of areas to reduce the risk of Shigella transmission. One section that was targeted was the Playground For All Children, located by 111th Street in Corona.
The Parks Dept., in a statement, said that it “cleaned and disinfected Playground For All Children’s spray shower and other water features to [Health Dept.] specifications. As an additional precaution staff also cleaned and disinfected all other spray showers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”
The Unisphere, the Lawrence Street Playground, and the Jurassic Playground were all sanitized.
According to the DOH there is no longer any risk of Shigellosis in the sanitized areas.
Shigellosis is an intestinal infection that mainly affects young children and frequently causes diarrhea, cramps, fever, and nausea, according to the health department.
It is spread commonly through contact with fecal matter or contaminated food and water.