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14 people sickened after playing in downtown S.J. fountain

San Jose has shut down the fountain at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez because health officials suspect as many as 14 people became sick after playing in the water there.

The Mercury News says the fountain was the common denominator for five confirmed cases of a cryptosporidium infection and eight to nine unconfirmed cases of salmonella. Both are transmitted by contaminated food or water.

The fountain was closed effective Friday and will remain closed until health and safety concerns are addressed, according to a news release from the city. Local health officials are conducting tests of the fountain water. Cryptosporidium test results are expected by Friday.

City officials say the sand filtration and sanitation systems and manual application of cleansing chemicals are ineffective for preventing both cryptosporidium and salmonella. They are developing recommendations to modify the system in order to “minimize or eliminate” outbreaks in the future.