A teenage girl died after contracting an amoeba infection from U.S. National Whitewater Park
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A father filed a lawsuit against U.S. National Whitewater Center one year after his daughter contracted a deadly parasite infection while rafting in the park. The lawsuit claims that the park administrators neglected the safety of their visitors and did not properly test their rafting channels.
Seitz’s boat overturned while she was rafting and she contracted the amoeba
Last year, Lauren Seitz went on a trip to the Whitewater Center with a church group. She and her group went rafting but, unfortunately, the boat they were on overturned. A few days later, Lauren died, and doctors revealed she had a deadly parasitic infection caused by an amoeba.
The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, usually parasites on the brain, which it starts eating. A person can contract such an infection if they get water up their nose. Such cases happen rarely, but almost all of them are lethal.
Yearly, Whitewater Center attracts more than 800,000 visitors, and gathers more than $18 million in revenue. After the incident which ended up in Seitz’s death, the rafting channels were closed for public for around two months. During this period, experts performed an epidemiological analysis.
Whitewater Center channels were highly infected with deadly amoeba populations
What they discovered was quite alarming. The filtration system was not powerful enough to clean the waters. Also, the samples they took showed that the amoeba was indeed present in the channels, and at levels so high that the CDC has never seen before. Therefore, the park was forced to change their filtration system.
Moreover, only two other water parks are similar to the Whitewater Center, and it is the only facility which doesn’t meet all the regulations necessary to protect visitors from diseases. Also, several employees revealed that water quality became extremely poor in the park, and it is often full of trash or dead animals.
The officials at Whitewater Center revealed that the deadly amoeba is often found in such environments during summer, but attorneys say they should have improved their filtering, since its presence in a water park makes infection more likely than in a natural environment.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons