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Microbial Pathogen Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/15/2019
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Health Department Reacts to Shigella Infections Linked to Playground Splash Pad and Fountains at City Park
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides environmental and food testing services to identify Shigella and a wide range of other microbial pathogens and contaminants.

New York, NY, October 15th , 2019

During this summer’s heat wave, countless families made their way to beaches, lakes and water parks to cool down. For a number of families in New York City, that meant enjoying the splash pad and fountains at a park in Queens.

Unfortunately for dozens of people, their visit exposed them to a type of bacteria known as Shigella, which can cause the infection shigellosis. According to media reports, as many as 32 people developed the infection after visiting the park. The New York City Health Department investigated the outbreak and shared information about the agency working with the Parks Department to sanitize the splash pad and fountain areas to mitigate the risk of further Shigella transmissions.

Shigella is very contagious and exposure to even a tiny amount of contaminated fecal matter can cause infection. Transmission typically occurs when people put something in their mouths or swallow something that has come into contact with the stool of an infected person. Most infected people develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days and some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the bacteria on to others.

“As reported by NYC Health, anyone can get shigellosis, but it is seen most often in young children,” said Jason Dobranic, Ph.D., Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Due to this fact, the highly infectious disease can quickly spread from toddler to toddler in settings such as the water park, in daycares and schools. Outbreaks of shigellosis have also occurred in restaurants, nursing homes and prisons. In order to stop its spread, it’s crucial that people thoroughly wash their hands and that surfaces are properly cleaned and disinfected.”

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading providers of environmental testing for Shigella and other pathogens. With laboratories across New York and throughout the rest of the United States and Canada, EMSL offers rapid qPCR testing services and all of the sampling supplies needed. Environmental testing of surfaces, food and water can pinpoint the source of an outbreak to help prevent others from becoming infected.  Testing is also instrumental for confirming disinfection procedures. EMSL has sponsored an educational video about Shigella and shigellosis that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/FI6nC5zZMZc.

To learn more about testing for Shigella or other microbial pathogens and contaminants, please call (800) 220-3675, email info@EMSL.com, or visit www.EMSL.com or www.FoodTestingLab.com for inquires related to food.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with over 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
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