The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed there have been 46 cases of cryptosporidium.

More than 100 further people have reported similar symptoms in the Brixham area and work is ongoing to gather data on the extent of the outbreak.

Lincoln Sargeant, Torbay’s Director of Public Health, said: “While we have increasing confidence we have identified the source of the initial contamination of the water supply and put in place public health measures to stop exposure to cryptosporidium, we know that there can be a delay of up to two weeks for some people to develop symptoms after their first exposure to the parasite.

“As a result there may continue to be people who experience watery diarrhoea in the coming days that are related to the initial problem.

“It is important that those in the areas where the Boil Water notice is in place continue to avoid ingesting tap water until advised otherwise. All residents need to maintain good hygiene measures and remain away from school and work for up to 48 after last episode of diarrhoea. This will help us to reduce any onward person to person spread of the infection.

“The outbreak is confined to Brixham and surrounding areas. We have effective public health measures in place to protect our residents and visitors and the Bay remains open for business.”     

Thanks to all those who have reported symptoms so far. There is no need to report further cases at present. The UKHSA will be carrying out further work to understand the scale of the outbreak and more information will follow. 

In the meantime, please only contact your GP if you need urgent clinical care, (if your symptoms last longer than seven days, or if you experience more severe symptoms such as blood in your poo) and they may recommend taking a poo sample for testing. This is to help them manage demand at this very busy time. To prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed, please don’t go to A&E.

Torbay Council teams have been liaising with South West Water (SWW) to ensure that vulnerable households are receiving deliveries of bottled water. This includes schools and businesses.

Anyone who is vulnerable or on the Priority Services register and hasn’t yet received a delivery of bottled water can contact SWW directly on 0344 346 1010.

Those registered for Priority Services will automatically receive bottled water from SWW, every 24 hours, throughout the boil water notice period.

This also applies to those who have difficulty accessing one of the bottled water sites.

SWW has set up three bottled water collection points – Broadsands Car Park, Freshwater Quarry Car Park at Churston Car Boot Field. They are open until 9pm this evening and from 7am to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.

SWISCo is expecting a rise in the number of empty plastic water bottles needing to be recycled. Please avoid putting them in your general waste and recycle them. Flatten them with their lids attached.

It is also setting up three plastic bottle recycling points in Brixham to cope with demand. These will be at:

  • St Mary’s Park
  • Furzeham Green
  • Summercourt Way Playing Field

As confirmed yesterday, customers affected by the boil water notice will be given £115 compensation as an apology for the inconvenience and worry caused by the situation. This will automatically be paid to customers, or credited to your next available water bill, where direct debit details are not held. Customers will not be contacted by anyone about this, so please be wary of anyone who calls claiming to be from SWW as this could be a scam.

For businesses impacted by the boil water notice, SWW has set up a dedicated line for retailers and businesses to discuss any impact on their businesses. The number is 03332 343 293and the line is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

There is specific advice if you’re a food business.

Read food business safety advice

Please read specific advice for swimming pool operators

Find out more about cryptosporidium




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