No Swimming at Willow Springs after Girl Hospitalized with Parasitic Meningitis

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Willow Springs Water Park in the southern section of town has been shutdown by the Arkansas Department of Health after a swimmer is diagnosed with parasitic meningitis.

The popular swimming hole is located at 3903 Willow Lake Road off Arch Street Pike just north of the Landmark community.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed a case of the rare brain-eating illness in Arkansas. Click here for more information on the illness.

The family of a 12-year-old local girl revealed her name to KARK 4 News. Kali Hardig has been undergoing treatment for the last week at Arkansas Children's Hospital.

Parasitic meningitis is caused by a parasite that enters the body through the nose, mainly when a person goes swimming in warm freshwater places, like a river or lake.

The sickness travels to the brain, where it destroys brain tissue. The health department says symptoms of parasitic meningitis include vomiting, stiff neck, headache, and fever.

To prevent parasitic meningitis, the CDC says avoid warm freshwater, like lakes or rivers, during periods of high water temperature and low water levels.

Also hold the nose shut or use nose clips when swimming. People should also avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment in shallow areas.

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