At Least 16 Children Affected By Parasite In Water Facilities Of Valencia’s Central Park

Image of pond in Valencia's Central Park.

Image of pond in Valencia's Central Park. Credit: Twitter@AjuntamentVLC

AT least 16 children aged between two and 11 are reported to have been affected by the presence of a bacterium in the ponds and ornamental fountains of the Central Park of Valencia.

There were originally 10 cases diagnosed by the Ministry of Health but this Tuesday, July 25, it confirmed that the total had risen.

Two of the three samples taken last Friday 21 from the water tanks, sources and fountains of Valencia’s Central Park had already tested positive for the parasite cryptosporidium protozoan.

This bacteria thrives in contaminated water and it was shown to be present in the results obtained by the Microbiological Surveillance Network of the Valencian Community (RedMIVA) on Monday 24.

As the results of the initial analyses became known, the number of cases increased, although none have required hospitalisation.

The first case was detected on July 13

The first was detected on July 13, when one child displayed symptoms of mainly watery diarrhoea and gastrointestinal discomfort. Samples were taken from that first case, the results of which should be known this Friday 28, said the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, the task of cleaning and disinfecting all the ornamental fountains and ponds in Central Park continued in an attempt to eliminate the protozoan.

When this disinfection process is finished – which is not expected to be completed until next week – some water will be put back into the facilities. At that point, more samples will be taken.

The facilities will not yet be refilled to capacity

They will not be filled to capacity until the experts are 100 per cent sure of the disappearance of the parasite. It has been calculated that the process of refilling the drinking water tanks for the fountain of the jets (known as ‘La Panderola’) lasts about two days and the two tanks for the ponds, about 20 hours.

It should be noted that while the disinfection and study of the first samples were being carried out, one of the tanks suffered an act of vandalism this Monday.

Someone tampered with the valve and filled one of the ponds with water. As a result, Valencia City Council had to proceed again with the emptying of the installation. Until further notice, only the ponds where there are aquatic plants will contain water.

Bathing in the ponds will be prohibited once filled again

Once the fountains and ornamental pools are filled again, the City Council will reinforce the presence of Local Police officers to warn the public that bathing in these pools is prohibited.

According to municipal sources consulted by lasprovincias.es, information campaigns will be carried out and the signage will be reinforced, making the prohibition very clear.

The text will warn that bathing in these points goes against the Parks and Gardens ordinance and that doing so may incur a fine.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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