Willow Springs Water Park closed because of meningitis case | Arkansas Blog

Willow Springs Water Park closed because of meningitis case



CLOSED: Willow Springs Water Park.
  • Fox 16
  • CLOSED: Willow Springs Water Park.
Fox 16 reports that the Willow Springs Water Park has closed because a recent swimmer there was diagnosed with parasitic meningitis, a potentially fatal ailment.

The park is off Arch Street Pike in the Landmark Community south of Little Rock.

Channel 11 says the closure was voluntary, after a meeting with Health Department officials. Tests of water found the parasite in a sample taken there.

UPDATE: Dr. Gary Wheeler of the Health Department clarifies that the parasite found was from a 2010 meningitis case. Current water samples are still undergoing testing. But the current sick patient and the 2010 patient both had swum at Willow Springs. Given that coincidence, and biological considerations including the warmer water temperature at Willow Springs, he said officials had decided it would be "prudent" to close the facility for a time and the operator did so voluntarily. He noted that there's a small probability of developing the disease — only six cases in Arkansas in 40 years — though the parasite is often found in water. He said the incubation period is about six days. Anyone with exposure to the water beyond that time has "zero" chance of developing an illness. Anyone who experiences fever or headaches who has been in the water in the last six days should consider seeing a doctor, he said.

More here from Health Department.

Also, the owner of Willow Springs tells David Goins at Fox 16 that the park, a fixture for decades, isn't likely to reopen.

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