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Golden Coast
Swimming pool crypto outbreak seen as a warning on water quality
Crypto outbreak seen as a warning on water quality
An outbreak of a cryptosporidium parasitic bug which closed a public swimming pool, has been called a dire warning about the dangers of poor quality pool water.

The Wells Leisure Centre swimming pool was closed after a number of swimmers developed gastroenteritis.

Stuart Cave from Mendip District Council said it would stay shut until tests had been carried out "and we are sure the situation has been resolved".

The council said swimmers experienced symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea.

Operator Avalon Leisure said the water was contaminated by an external source.

The decision to close the pool was taken by the council's Environmental Health Department and Avalon Leisure after it emerged the water had become infected by cryptosporidium.

The parasite causes stomach upsets and the most common symptom is diarrhoea.

A full investigation was launched by public health inspectors after they were notified by doctors.

It is the first time that Avalon Leisure has had to close a pool because of an infection, which was probably brought into the centre by a swimmer.

Councillor John Parham, portfolio holder for regulatory services, said: "We had no other option than to instruct Avalon Leisure to close the pool, while tests and maintenance are carried out.

"It is our responsibility to ensure the leisure facilities provided are safe for people to use and we cannot take the risk of leaving the pool open and potentially seeing more people affected."

Dr K Kumuran, from the Health Protection Agency is a consultant for communicable disease control in the south west. He said the outbreak was a warning of the importance for swimming pools to maintain the highest standards when it came to quality of pool waster and that included regular testing

He said: "Cryptosporidium is a parasite that infects both people and cattle and is present in lakes and streams.

"It should not get into the public water supply.

"It is passed by infected faeces, from person to person, and is most likely to have been caused by someone having an accident in the pool.

"The symptoms tend to become apparent between a week and ten days after the infection occurs, but can appear within a day or take three weeks to arise.

"The most obvious symptom is diarrhoea, though it can also cause stomach cramps.”

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