Kansas mom shares her struggle with Shigella after visiting Tanganyika Wildlife Park with kids


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas mom says her children are still sick more than a week after visiting Tanganyika’s splash park. This is after the Kansas Department of Health linked three cases of Shigella to the park.

“Two Wednesdays ago, we went to the storytime which my daughter, my daughter loves, and then, we went to splash pad after,” said Madison Converse, a local mother.

What started out as a fun trip with the family for Madison Converse turned awry in hours.

“We had fun, we went home, she took a nap, and then, she woke up, and both of them I mean, my son also has it. They have had the runs very bad,” said Converse.

Dr. Tom Moore, a local infectious disease physician, said the bacteria is spread through exposure to contaminated feces. 

“Shigella is an infection that often requires treatment. Patients are usually very sick or feel sick, and they seek medical attention. It’s not subtle,” said Dr. Moore. “It can be self-limited over time, but that is you know, people very often will get over it on their own, but there’s no reason to do that.”

Dr. Moore suspects as KDHE continues to investigate more cases will be found.

“I think the main thing is, you know, KDHE is going to have to do some investigation about the adequacy of chlorination of the water,” said Dr. Moore.

Converse said her kids have been sick for two weeks now.

“It was pretty bad. She didn’t want us to change her diaper because the wipes would burn it, and she didn’t want to take a bath because she didn’t want the water touching it,” said Converse.

Converse said her kids are starting to feel better, and they will visit the wildlife park again.

“It’s our favorite place to go so it hope it gets resolved soon.

The director of Tanganyika released a statement on Wednesday saying he is relieved the county and KDHE were able to confirm the bacteria.

More than 200 people have responded to a survey designed to identify Tanganyika visitors with fever, diarrhea or vomiting.

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