By Marissa Perlman


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Before you or your family dives into a water park to stay cool this summer, know this: there are hidden dangers lurking underneath the surface of the water.

At least one family has complained so far this season, believing their daughter got sick from an area water park.

The Distefano family had a plan on a hot Tuesday in July: head to the waterpark. They’re not worried about being exposed to hidden dangers, like bacteria living underneath the water.

“If you worry about stuff all the time, you’re never going to do anything.” Scott Distefano said.

The County Public Health Department did investigate a case of Shigella, which causes diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps.

READ ALSO: What Is Shigella?

The patient believed it came from Raging Waters, a water park in at Cal Expo in Sacramento. The Public Health Department asked the County Environmental Management Department to do a recreational water inspection at the park.

After the investigation, they found no reason to close any water features, but out of an abundance of caution, more chlorine was added.

“It’s fairly easy to be infected with it,” said Dr. Jess Huang, a Pediatrician at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

She said chlorine doesn’t kill everything. Even when pool chemicals are well maintained, some germs can still live, and they’re easy to spread.

“If you touch something that has it, and you put it into your own mouth, that’s how you will get infected with it,” Huang said.

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She said pools can be a breeding ground for disease, including Hepatitis A and Cryptosporidiosis. It’s also known as crypto, which can live in pools for up to seven days.

So how do you keep your kids safe? Dr. Huang said, “If you have kids who have diarrhea, don’t bring them to the pool, don’t bring them to daycare. Those are all things you can do to prevent being infected.”

There is no confirmation that the young girl who got sick with shigella contracted it at Raging Waters.

From May through August the County Environmental Management Department checks all public pools throughout the county to make sure they are free of disease and have just the right amount of chlorine.

Marissa Perlman

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