Bacteria ID’d in illnesses at splash park


Staff report

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) have identified a bacteria in three illnesses connected to the Tanganyika Falls Splash Park at Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard.
The agencies continue to investigate cases of illness associated with the park. KDHE became aware of the possible link between the cases on June 18 and began an investigation the same day.
Initially, there were three cases that were identified as linked to the park. These cases have tested positive for Shigella bacteria. Additional testing is underway to determine if the bacteria from each person are related. Shigella is a bacteria spread from person-to-person through exposure to contaminated stool (feces).
Shigella spreads easily; just a small number of bacteria can spread illness. Someone can become infected with Shigella through swallowing contaminated recreational water, touching items that are contaminated and touching your mouth, or caring for someone who has Shigella, including cleaning up after the person uses the bathroom or changing diapers.
On June 20, KDHE and SCHD released a survey for people who had visited Tanganyika and experienced fever, diarrhea or vomiting. More than 200 people responded to the survey. Further analysis of the survey results will determine which respondents may be connected to this investigation.
KDHE is asking that if you experienced symptoms of fever, diarrhea, or vomiting after visiting Tanganyika Wildlife Park on or after May 28 and have not completed the survey, to take the survey at If you visit a healthcare facility, ask the medical provider to test your stool (feces).
If you live in Sedgwick County, and do not have access to a computer to complete the survey, contact the Sedgwick County Health Department via email at or call 316-660-5558 and leave a message.
If you live outside of Sedgwick County and do not have access to a computer to complete the survey, please contact your local health department.
The Tanganyika Splash Park is served by a water line from the City of Goddard. At this time, records indicate that the city is supplying compliant drinking water based on their routine monitoring.
This investigation remains ongoing and KDHE and Sedgwick County Health Department will continue to provide updates to the public and patrons of the park.
The splash park remains closed for now.