Last week it was reported that 90 people became sick after visiting Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park just north of Albany, New York. According to this subsequent report by the New York Department of Health, the number went up to 435 by the time the complaints stopped rolling in. People were suffering from gastrointestinal problems, although, the illnesses didn’t seem to be serious. Officials have found traces of norovirus called Norwalk virus that is passed around from sharing food and drink, touching contaminated surfaces and being in close proximity to people who have the virus. As a result, the employees of the park were giving it a real scrub down. The complaints have since stopped.
With water parks being such a perfect haven from the cold and dreariness of winter, I am surprised more people don’t get sick at them. However, in January, we went to a new water park minutes from Cincinnati with positive results.
When I walked into Coco Key, I noticed the smell of chlorine. It wasn’t overpowering but it was strong. We spent parts of two days floating in the lazy river, hanging out in the hot tub and taking some winding tube slide runs. Because this was during the middle of the week at the tail end of winter break, not many people were there. Getting sick wasn’t something I was thinking about.
Even though you’re surrounded by water at a water park and that might seem clean, following hygiene rules of not sharing food and washing ones hands often are a good idea. And if you have to cough or sneeze, put your forearm over your mouth and nose, not your hand.