Arkansas Water Park Closes After Parasite Found
(Little Rock, AR) An Arkansas water park has closed after a diagnosed case of an amoeba that is most often fatal.
The park voluntarily closed after tests detected the presence of Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis.
“We, David and Lou Ann Ratliff, as general management of Willow Springs Water Park, have received new information regarding Naegleria fowleri, and have elected to close the park as of July 25 at the request of the Arkansas Department of Health. Though the odds of contracting Naegleria are extremely low, they are just not good enough to allow our friends or family to swim” said David and Lou Ann Ratliff, owners of Willow Springs. “For the thousands of people who love Willow Springs, we will be taking this time to determine the feasibility of installing a solid bottom to the lake. We will not ever reopen as a sand bottom lake” said Ratliff. “We covet your prayers and our Willow Springs family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers” added Ratliff.
The sand reference is because the bacteria can be released by stirring up dirt or sand.
According to the CDC website the condition is also known as the “brain-eating amoeba” and can cause a rare and devastating brain infection.
The ameba is commonly found in warm freshwater such as lakes, rivers and hot springs and is contracted by swimming or diving in that water.