Just As I Thought

San Jose: Capital of Salmonella Valley

Last week, one of the more interesting stories here was the reintroduction of bed bugs to San Jose. It was a top story in the paper; the claims are that the bed bugs were brought into the city by college students from abroad.
And as if that weren’t nasty enough, now there’s this charming story:

At least seven children suffered diarrhea after playing in a popular downtown fountain, and city health officials worry the water may have infected many more.

The fountain at Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park has not flowed since late last week, when tests confirmed the presence of the microscopic parasite that causes cryptosporidiosis, a diarrhea-inducing virus.

The health department continued investigating Thursday whether 13 more cases of cryptosporidiosis and 15 cases of salmonella in children since mid-July were linked to the tainted fountain.

One child was hospitalized but has since recovered, said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the county’s public health officer.

At least 11 of 15 recent cases of salmonella, which also causes diarrhea, nausea and cramps, stemmed from a common source, but officials still don’t know if the downtown fountain is the culprit, Fenstersheib said.

Both illnesses can be spread by accidentally swallowing water that has come into contact with the feces of an infected person or pet.

The fountain’s filtration and sanitation systems, which included the use of chemicals like chlorine, have proven ineffective at blocking parasites and bacteria in the recycled fountain water, city officials said.

The most disturbing part of that story is the sentence Both illnesses can be spread by accidentally swallowing water that has come into contact with the feces of an infected person or pet. Just what is happening at that fountain, eh?

5 comments

  • After re-reading that, let me rephrase.

    The parents are putting the children in the fountain in clean diapers and the children are soiling their diapers while in the fountain. When the parents pull their children out and find the diapers soiled and ready for changing its already too late the water has been contaminated. I am not suggesting the parents knowingly put dirty diapers in the fountain. (But in this day and age nothing would surprise me.)

  • Although, the article says that the feces must be from a person who is already infected. So, there must be some infected babies toddling around there among the powerful jets of water…

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