Devon dirty water crisis could go on for 10 days: School forced to shut, ... trends now

Devon dirty water crisis could go on for 10 days: School forced to shut, ... trends now
Devon dirty water crisis could go on for 10 days: School forced to shut, ... trends now

Devon dirty water crisis could go on for 10 days: School forced to shut, ... trends now

Devon's water crisis could last for 10 days after hundreds have fallen ill with vomiting and diarrhoea amid a parasite outbreak in contaminated taps. 

A school has been forced to shut and people are panic buying water from supermarkets after hundreds of people were struck down by an illness called cryptosporidium. 

South West Water (SWW) yesterday urged people to boil their tap water after hundreds fell ill with diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pains. 

The water company said the Hillhead reservoir and the wider Alston area are being investigated as a potential cause for the outbreak - an area which about 40,000 residents get their water supply from.

The mystery illness is believed to be linked to cryptosporidium, a parasitic bug that causes severe stomach issues.

Locals in Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland and north-east Paignton in Devon were all told to boil water as a precaution - including when drinking it or using it to cook with and brush teeth - as bottled water stations were set up yesterday to provide clean, safe water for residents to take home.

Eden Park Primary School in Brixham told parents last night they would not be opening this morning after they claimed South West Water did not supply them with bottled water.

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South West Water unloading crates of bottled water to distribute to locals in south Devon

South West Water unloading crates of bottled water to distribute to locals in south Devon

Shelves usually stocked with water are empty as people panic buy in a bid to avoid tap water

Shelves usually stocked with water are empty as people panic buy in a bid to avoid tap water

Locals in Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland and north-east Paignton in Devon were all told to boil water as a precaution

Locals in Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland and north-east Paignton in Devon were all told to boil water as a precaution

Eden Park Primary School in Brixham confirmed they would not open today following the outbreak

Eden Park Primary School in Brixham confirmed they would not open today following the outbreak

South West Water has set up bottled water stops for residents to pick up water if they are unable to boil it at home

South West Water has set up bottled water stops for residents to pick up water if they are unable to boil it at home

Lisa Kelly (pictured) has been suffering from the painful affects of cryptosporidium for nearly two weeks

Lisa Kelly (pictured) has been suffering from the painful affects of cryptosporidium for nearly two weeks

Another local, Mary (right), bought bottled water for those unable to travel to a distribution station four miles away by car

Another local, Mary (right), bought bottled water for those unable to travel to a distribution station four miles away by car

The water board initially claimed its treatment works were not to blame but has since backtracked - prompting fury from local Tory MP Anthony Mangnall, who said its initial failure to act had been 'enormously frustrating'.

Locals who believe they have been struck down by the parasite, which can be eradicated by boiling water, have told of severe stomach cramps, dehydration, high fevers and 'explosive diarrhoea' that have crippled them and their families. 

Cryptosporidium can be found in the intestines and faeces of infected humans and animals. The parasite can be ingested by swimming in or drinking contaminated water as well as other sources such as contaminated food. 

It can lead to the disease cryptosporidiosis, which is believed to be affecting many people in Brixham, and causes fever, a loss of appetite, diarrhoea and vomiting. The NHS says most people recover within a month, if not less.

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LIVE South West Water contamination LIVE: Latest updates as Devon school shuts after crippling illness strikes county with residents told to boil water until further notice

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Twenty-two cases of the bug, which is caused by a parasite, have been confirmed in Brixham with a further 70 under investigation. 

Eden Park Primary School in Brixham announced yesterday evening that it would not be opening to pupils today following the outbreak.  

The statement read: 'Eden Park Primary School were only informed this afternoon  that the school was in an area where the tap water should be boiled.

'The school have taken swift action to put safety plans in place and contact the appropriate authorities about providing safe drinking water.

'At the time of writing this update (7.30pm), and despite repeated calls to South West Water about the urgency of the situation, the school has not received any bottled water or assurances of when water will be delivered. To enable parents and carers to make childcare plans for the morning, leaders have made the difficult decision to close the school tomorrow, Thursday 16th May.

'All Year 6 children should attend the school as usual, to complete their final SATs paper in the morning. They should bring their own full water bottle and be collected at 11:15am. The school will also provide bottled water for children and staff in school tomorrow. No other children should attend the school.

'A further update will be provided tomorrow afternoon, regarding the opening the school on Friday 17th May. Thank you for understanding with this rapidly changing situation.'

Locals Lewis, Izzy and Lisa Kelly have been suffering from the painful affects of cryptosporidium for nearly two weeks. 

Lisa told Good Morning Britain: 'I've just got no energy, really bad stomach cramps, a headache. 

'I've met lots of elderly people today who weren't even aware that they shouldn't be drinking the water and they were all ill.' 

Another local, Mary, bought bottled water for those unable to travel to a distribution station four miles away by car. 

'There are a lot of people who are disabled, vulnerable, elderly - they can't get to these places, so I thought I'd do my bit,' she said. 

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of public health for Torbay, BBC Radio 4's Today programme he is 'optimistic' about the outbreak being under control. 

South West Water handing out emergency rations of bottled water to those affected by the Cryptosporidium outbreak

South West Water handing out emergency rations of bottled water to those affected by the Cryptosporidium outbreak

SWW handing out bottles of water to those who cannot boil their tap water

SWW handing out bottles of water to those who cannot boil their tap water 

People took to social media to reveal empty shelves in Morrisons due to people panic buying water

People took to social media to reveal empty shelves in Morrisons due to people panic buying water 

Conservative MP for Totnes and South Devon Anthony Mangnall has slammed the 'enormously frustrating' pace at which South West Water has sought to address the outbreak

Conservative MP for Totnes and South Devon Anthony Mangnall has slammed the 'enormously frustrating' pace at which South West Water has sought to address the outbreak

He said: 'This was reported as an outbreak on Tuesday morning and by Wednesday we had a credible source that it was likely to be a reservoir serving the TQ5 postcode such as Brixham and

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