Arkansas Water Park Closed after Child Contracts Parasitic Meningitis
According to Fox News, 12-year-old Kali Hardig has been placed into a medically induced coma as doctors attempt to treat her for parasitic meningitis. She reportedly contracted the deadly bacteria as a result of visiting Willow Springs Water Park in Arkansas.
Kali was confirmed as having the deadly infection after she was brought to a children’s hospital by her mother in response to a high fever, vomiting, and headaches.
About Parasitic Meningitis
“She’d say her head hurt really bad. She cried, and she would just look at me and her eyes would just kind of roll.” – Traci Hardig told the Christian Post
- Parasitic meningitis is a fatal brain infection caused by the amoeba Naegleri fowleri.
- It is most often contracted by drinking contaminated water.
- The amoeba may also enter the body through the nose while a person is in a contaminated water source like an inadequately chlorinated pool or a lake.
- The infection is considered very rare, with only 32 cases reported in the past 10 years, but is nearly always fatal.
- Symptoms of parasitic meningitis normally occur 1 to 7 days after infection as the amoeba begin to damage brain tissue leading to headaches, vomiting, and death.
Arkansas Water Park Closed
- The water park linked to the infection, Willow Springs Water Park, was ordered to close by the Arkansas Department of Health as investigations continue.
- Authorities state current inquiries are part of an ongoing investigation as a previous case of parasitic meningitis which occurred in 2010 could be possible linked to the water park.
- Park owners say they plan to put a solid bottom on the lake portion of the water park in response to the case in hopes of preventing new infections.
While Kali’s condition has stabilized, she is still in danger as doctors wait for the child to “ride out” the inflammation and other side effects caused by the infection.
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