Diarrhoea and vomiting warning: Schools closed and THOUSANDS told to boil tap water
A boil water notice has been issued by Bristol Water for residents in BS21 and BS49
Residents have been warned not to drink from their taps and to avoid preparing food with their water after routine water quality tests revealed cryptosporidium.
The parasite can infect bowels and cause gastroenteritis, which in turn leads to vomiting and diarrhoea.
Symptoms can last for up to two weeks, and are most likely to affect young children between the ages of one and five or people with weak immune systems.
The boil water notice was issued by Bristol Water shortly before 5.45pm on Thursday, and applies to residents in the BS21 and BS49 postcode areas of Clevedon, Bristol.
Clevedon School announced that they would remain closed following the Boil Water Notification
The levels of Cryptosporidium detected in the water supply is low and the advice to boil the water is as a precaution
As a result, Clevedon School and Mary Elton Primary School closed their gates on Friday.
Headteacher Dean Hudd, at Mary Elton Primary School, said: “This decision has been based on Health and Safety reasons. We envisage that the school will be safe and reopen on Monday, January 15.”
Clevedon School announced their closure in a Tweet, initially writing: “We are currently working with the relevant authorities to assess the impact of the ‘Boil Water Notification’ on the running of the school.
They later posted the update: “School Closure News: Due to the issue with water supply, school is closed tomorrow. Please see letter sent via School Comms.”
The notice will remain in place for 48 hours, and Clevedon School will likely re-op on Monday
Bristol Water say the boil water notice is likely to be in place for at least 48 hours.
It means that tap water should not be used for drinking, cooking (unless boiled), bathing, cleaning teeth, feeding pets, cleaning dishes, washing clothes or heating baby food.
Posting on their website on Thursday night, Bristol Water wrote: “One test result from raw water quality samples taken at Clevedon treatment works detected Cryptosporidrum. Therefore, the advice to boil the water is a precaution.
“The treatment works has been taken out of operation and the water is being supplied from a different treatment works. We are supplying bottled water to vulnerable customers in the area and we are contacting schools directly.
“Bristol Water staff will be hand delivering notices to properties affected by the notice and those staff are happy to answer any questions you may have.
“We apologise to customers for this disruption, but any potential risk to health is our number one priority. We immediately shut the treatment works down once we had the initial result.
“Hopefully, the boil notice will only be in place for a short period but every precaution needs to be taken to ensure the safety of our customers.
Updates posted through the evening on Thursday said the company were continuing to conduct further water tests, and were hand delivering boil notices in Clevedon until 10pm.
Thara Raj, Consultant in Health Protection for Public Health England South West said: “We would remind people in the affected areas to follow the advice from Bristol Water and boil their drinking water and allow to cool before use.
“The levels of Cryptosporidium detected in the water supply is low and the advice to boil the water is as a precaution.
“If people feel unwell or experience symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting they should contact NHS 111.
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“If your symptoms become severe, you should contact your GP.”
No specific treatment is needed for most people suffering from the parasite, but sufferers should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Infection can occur in humans and animals and is spread by contact with soil, water, food or surfaces that have been contaminated by infected stools (faeces) containing the parasite.