Monday, May 27, 2024

UK school closes amid cryptosporidiosis outbreak, 22 cases confirmed | World News – The Indian Express

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A primary school in UK’s Brixham has closed due to a lack of drinking water, according to a report by BBC, as officials investigate a local outbreak of cryptosporidiosis, a disease causing sickness and diarrhoea.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reported 22 confirmed cases of cryptosporidiosis, a waterborne disease caused by the microscopic parasite cryptosporidium, with more cases expected. Additional cases of diarrhoea and vomiting among residents and visitors are also under investigation, said a report by The Guardian.

Tanya Matthews, who lives in Ocean View, claims every home in her street has come down with the same symptoms. She told local news website DevonLive: “I started having stomach cramps and explosive diarrhoea nine days ago and it has been the same every day since. I started to feel a little bit better yesterday than today [May 14] it hit me again.”

“Our public health team issued general guidance about cryptosporidium to schools yesterday including its symptoms, treatments and precautions that should be taken. South West Water is delivering bottles of water to schools and nurseries as well as continuing to distribute to their priority list,” a spokesperson by the Torbay Council  was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

However, a statement to parents by Eden Park Primary & Nursery School said it “has not received any bottled water or assurances of when water will be delivered”.

It is unclear where the parasite came from, and how it got into the water supply, which UKHSA South West said it was working with the Torbay council, South West Water (SWW), NHS Devon and the local environment agency to investigate, according to the report.

South West Water issued a “boil water notice” for Alston and the Hillhead area of Brixham after water tests detected small traces of the parasite.

SWW took to social media platform X and said, “We are working with public health partners to urgently investigate the source. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated.”

The water firm further stated, ”Customers in Alston and the Hillhead area of Brixham are advised to boil their drinking water before consuming following new test results for cryptosporidium. We are issuing this as a precaution following small traces of the organism identified overnight and this morning. We are working with public health partners to urgently investigate the source. For those customers registered for Priority Services we will be delivering bottled water to your address. ”

The water company initially told affected customers that they would receive £15 in compensation. The payment, which will be made automatically, has since been increased by £100, to £115, SWW confirmed.

Sarah Bird, a consultant in health protection at UKHSA South West talking to The Guardian said, “We advise people in the affected areas to follow the advice from South West Water and boil their drinking water and allow to cool before use.

“Anyone with a diarrhoeal illness should drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, and if they have severe symptoms like bloody diarrhoea they should contact NHS 111 or their GP surgery. Symptoms include watery diarrhoea, stomach pains, dehydration, weight loss and fever, which can last for two to three weeks.”

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