LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A suspected E. coli outbreak led to the closure of a local water park late last week but officials now want the public to know the park is safe. The Dewayne Hayes Water Park was closed for four days last week while park officials tested for the presence of the bacteria E. coli. Officials at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers say they followed proper procedure to ensure that the park was safe.
“We went ahead and totally cleaned the whole area and all the equipment and everything. The results came back that Friday and those results indicated that there was no E. coli in our waters at all,” says Patrick Robbins at the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
The Corp of Engineers was notified by the state health department of the potential risk after the department received a call from a mother who thought her son contracted E. coli at the park. Lynn Nance is the little boy’s grandmother.
“He’s been diagnosed with acute renal kidney failure and E. coli. He began vomiting and diarrhea is how it started. Then with the kidney failure he just go to where he had no energy whatsoever. He would just lay around like a wet rag and doing nothing,” says Nance.
Nance says her two-year old granddaughter has also been diagnosed. The family has yet to figure out how the children contracted the E. coli bacteria.
“My granddaughter she’s two and she started showing signs of diarrhea so me and the other grandmother, we took her to the emergency room. They tested her, done a stool sample on her and it came back that she had E. coli but we had caught it in time to where they could flush it out,” says Nance.
Dewayne Hayes Water Park re-opened this past weekend and park officials say there’s nothing to worry about.
“We keep the water chlorinated. We test it at least two times a week and more than that especially in busy times. So it’s safe as any public pool around,” says Rick Saucer with the Dewayne Hayes Water Park.
Officials at the health department have confirmed that there are two cases of E. coli in Public Health District 4 which includes Lowndes, Clay and Oktibbeha counties, but stopped short of specifying in which counties the cases exist. E. coli is contracted after swallowing the bacteria and small children are most likely to have life threatening symptoms.