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Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Disinfected After 32 People Become Ill

Spray pad at Playground For All Children where many people got sick (Photo:

Aug. 6, 2019 By Max Murray

Parts of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park have been sanitized following a Shigellosis outbreak that infected 32 people.

In mid-July, during the blistering heat wave, scores of Queens parents took their children to cool down in the water sprinklers across NYC parks.

However, many parents who took their children to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to escape the heat came to regret their decision.

Within a few days many children became feverish, nauseous, and/or had diarrhea.

The Health Department said in a statement that it investigated a Shigellosis outbreak associated with the park after “several individuals reported symptoms after playing in a playground with a splash pad or a large fountain.”

According to NY1, some individuals were hospitalized for their infections.

The Unisphere’s water fountain was also sanitized (Photo:

The Health Dept. noted that there have been 32 cases associated with the park and that it worked with the Parks Dept. to sanitize a number of areas to reduce the risk of Shigella transmission. One section that was targeted was the Playground For All Children, located by 111th Street in Corona.

The Parks Dept., in a statement, said that it “cleaned and disinfected Playground For All Children’s spray shower and other water features to [Health Dept.] specifications. As an additional precaution staff also cleaned and disinfected all other spray showers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”

The Unisphere, the Lawrence Street Playground, and the Jurassic Playground were all sanitized.

According to the DOH there is no longer any risk of Shigellosis in the sanitized areas.

Shigellosis is an intestinal infection that mainly affects young children and frequently causes diarrhea, cramps, fever, and nausea, according to the health department.

It is spread commonly through contact with fecal matter or contaminated food and water.

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Henryka Speina

The park is so dirty. Nobody is claiming the park. The garbage is everywhere

Harmony Trowbridge

This park is located on top of a century old, unlined toxic waste pile that started in the 1800s, it is easy to prove with research, and that is likely why the water is making people sick. It is placed on a major groundwater source for Corona as well.

Harmony Trowbridge

Oh my gosh, I have been waiting to meet someone else who knows this. I am making a film about it.

Jennifer Sanchez

Parents must band together and file 311 complaints put up notices and flyers hand them out to parents who frequent these spray showers to make sure that the city is Health with highest answers to make sure that our children are safe while I no longer have children because I only have teenagers now as a former dohmh officer I would definitely make sure that the health department is aware if the spray showers are dirty parents have to band together that’s the only way they get things done. If the health commissioner is not aware of these situations then you need to go down to 125 Worth Street to the house Commissioners Office to make a complaint or call 311


Correction, 33 sick children, and who knows how many more. My daughter became terribly feverish with diarrhea shortly after a visit to the park’s fountains, but I just thought it was some summer bug. This definitely explains it.

I completely agree with Tenzen, and I’d like to add, on my last visit to the park, there was human feces right under the sphere, just a few feet from children playing. How does the park staff miss this?

Me Ir Da

Instead of blaming the government (park staff), a better question might be … What poor excuse for a human would defecate there?

Jay Dolo

Usually it’s homeless people that defecate in parks because they don’t have a facility to do so. So yeah maybe the Mayor needs to fix NYC’s homeless problem because it’s the worst it’s been in decades!

Tenzin Dolma

Me and friends mostly take our kids there and we always notice water being dirty and sometime we also notice some kind of tiny worms like things in there and always get scared of kids getting sick. Park staff should sanitize every corner on regular basis as many kids comes there to relieve from heat and it’s also one of the tourist attractions in queens. Not only when kids get sick then taking precautions is too late…


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