Devon cryptosporidiosis outbreak

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Slee Blackwell Solicitors look at the Devon cryptosporidiosis outbreak.

South West Water initially denied that its treatment works were to blame for residents contracting cryptosporidiosis in areas of south Devon, including:

  • Brixham
  • Broadsands
  • Churston
  • Galmpton
  • Hookhills
  • Kingswear
  • White Rock

However, South West Water has now apologised to customers after what it referred to as ‘small traces’ of the waterborne parasite were found in Hillhead reservoir. Over 20 cases have so far been confirmed, and approximately 70 more are still under investigation, but it is suspected that hundreds more individuals have fallen ill with the disease.

Advice has been passed to 16,000 homes and businesses within the affected areas to boil their water for all uses, including drinking, cooking, washing and brushing teeth. Water stations are being provided around the area for residents to take clean water home. However, many people such as those who are elderly or disabled are unable to reach these water stations.

Cryptosporidiosis is a disease which can be found in the intestines and faeces of infected humans and animals. It can be ingested through drinking contaminated water, ingesting contaminated foods, or from touching your mouth with contaminated hands. Those who become infected can experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, severe stomach cramps, dehydration, high fevers, and loss of appetite. Symptoms may not develop for up to 12 days and typically last for approximately two weeks. Most individuals will recover after a month, though recovery timescales may be longer for vulnerable individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems or cancer patients. This may lead onto the development of further serious, chronic or even fatal illnesses. Generally, antibiotics do not assist in treating cryptosporidiosis, therefore it is recommended that people stay hydrated and avoid places of education or employment for 48 following symptoms.

Cryptosporidiosis may be passed between individuals, meaning those caring for anyone who is infected can be at heightened risk of contracting the disease themselves. Those who work with animals, frequent lakes or rivers, or live or work with young children are also particularly vulnerable.

Outbreaks commonly occur in busy or crowded areas, such as places of work, schools, and nurseries. Measures can be taken to reduce the risk of contracting the disease, such as ensuring hands are thoroughly cleaned with uncontaminated water, particularly when handling food, and taking care when coming into contact with others.

If you are suffering with these symptoms, it s recommended that you seek medical attention if necessary, and stay hydrated with boiled or bottled water.

If you have been affected the Devon cryptosporidiosis outbreak and require legal guidance on claiming compensation, then contact our specialist team for a free case assessment and details of No Win, No Fee funding. We are experienced in dealing with such claims, and recovered £33,250 for one of our clients who was exposed to contaminated water.

Call freephone 0333 888 0419 or email us at [email protected]

 

Jasmine Moxey-Butler

Jasmine Moxey-Butler

Jasmine is a specialist personal injury lawyer. She is based at our Taunton office where she represents clients nationwide. Jasmine has achieved a number of particularly noteworthy successes and has been able to succeed in cases where other law firms have failed. Her tenacity and expertise brings results and her clients are thoroughly impressed by the service she provides.
Jasmine Moxey-Butler

Jasmine Moxey-Butler

Jasmine is a specialist personal injury lawyer. She is based at our Taunton office where she represents clients nationwide. Jasmine has achieved a number of particularly noteworthy successes and has been able to succeed in cases where other law firms have failed. Her tenacity and expertise brings results and her clients are thoroughly impressed by the service she provides.

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