Symptoms of cryptosporidium as health alert issued

Symptoms can include stomach cramps
Symptoms can include stomach cramps -Credit:InYourArea

A health alert has been issued in a UK seaside town after 'hundreds' of people have fallen ill.

The outbreak is being investigated after people presented with symptoms consistent with cryptosporidium infection. 'Hundreds' of residents in Brixham, Devon have reportedly fallen ill, based on multiple posts on social media which prompted an investigation by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Earlier this afternoon, South West Water issued a statement to advise people in the area to boil their drinking water before drinking it following new tests for cryptosporidium. It said: "Customers in Alston and the Hillhead area of Brixham are advised to boil their drinking water before consuming following new test results for cryptosporidium.

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"We are issuing this notice following small traces of the organism identified overnight and this morning. We are working with the UK Health Security Agency and other public health partners to urgently investigate and eliminate the source.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated. Bottled water stations will be set up in the affected areas as soon as possible.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms generally begin 2 to 10 days (average 7 days) after becoming infected with the parasite. Symptoms include:

  • Watery diarrhea

  • Stomach cramps or pain

  • Dehydration

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Fever

  • Weight loss

The advice added: "Symptoms usually last about 1 to 2 weeks (with a range of a few days to 4 or more weeks) in people with healthy immune systems. The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhoea. Some people with Crypto will have no symptoms at all."

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