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E. coli lawsuits mount against camp resort

Two additional families are suing a Mississippi public swimming pool and splash pad where they claim their children contracted E. coli.

In August, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced that it was investigating E. coli infections found in connection with use of the pool and splash pad at the Jellystone Park Camp Resort-Yogi on the Lake in Pelahatchie near Jackson, Mississippi.

Health officials said those diagnosed with the infection likely visited the resort between July 30 and August 1, although some might have been exposed to the bacteria up to August 9, the day management closed the area.

At least one lawsuit had already been filed in connection with the outbreak.

In August, Brandon and Ruth Braud of Louisiana filed a complaint saying that their daughter, who visited the Pelahatchie Park from July 29 through August 2, developed a fever and began having diarrhea containing blood.

Now, families from Mississippi and Alabama have also filed complaints against resort for failure to keep its premises safe and warn park attendants of hidden dangers.

Amy and David Neeley, from Jackson, say that their son visited Jellystone Park from July 30 to August 1 and used the pool and splash pad while there.

Upon returning home, their son became sick and was taken to the Children’s Clinic in Flowood on August 5, where he was diagnosed with E. coli.

At press time, the child was still experiencing stomach cramps and fatigue.

According to documents filed in the Hinds County Circuit Court, the family claims that management failed to use appropriate systems for cleaning, operating, monitoring and inspecting the pools. Furthermore, they say that the management was not adequately trained on proper pool operation and maintenance and did not keep adequate documentation related to its maintenance.

E. coli infections can be serious, especially in children and the elderly, and symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Infection symptoms usually develop within three to four days after exposure. Occasionally, more severe symptoms occur that can be life-threatening, such as the potentially life-threatening condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which often develops about a week after symptoms occur and are improving.

Outbreaks in recreational water such as pools, spas, and splash pads occur when the water becomes contaminated by an infected person though fecal contamination and then other swimmers swallow the water. Person-to-person transmission is also possible.

Pool professionals can tell pool users that they can protect themselves and their children from E. coli by following simple but effective guidelines: • Don’t swim or let children swim when sick with diarrhea.

• Don’t swallow the water.

•Take kids on bathroom breaks every hour.

• Check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area – not poolside – to keep germs away from the pool.

• Shower before you get in the water. Rinsing off in the shower for just one minute helps get rid of any germs that might be on your body.

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