Severe diarrhea in West Country town as ‘hundreds’ fall ill with stomach bug

An investigation has been launched into a suspected outbreak of cryptosporidium in a West Country town after “hundreds” reportedly fell ill. The disease is characterized by severe diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, low-grade fever, and loss of appetite, which usually lasts one to two weeks.

The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) has launched an investigation but has yet to confirm details of the outbreak in Brixham, Devon. Meanwhile, South West Water (SWW) said its drinking water quality tests in Brixham had given clear results.

As reported by Devon Live, cryptosporidium, which are parasites found in the intestines and faeces of infected humans and animals, can be contracted through exposure to or ingestion of contaminated water or through contaminated food. The parasites cause the disease known as cryptosporidiosis.

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In response to concerns raised online about water quality in Brixham, a spokesperson for South West Water commented: “We are aware of posts on social media regarding the quality of drinking water in the Brixham area and would like to ensure customers that the water supply is good to continue to use as usual.

“We did the cryptosporidium sampling and testing and all the results came back clear. We always monitor our drinking water supplies carefully and are supporting the UK Health Safety Agency with their investigations.”

The exact number of cryptosporidium cases in the area remains unconfirmed, but the Brixham Fish Town community Facebook page is full of residents reporting symptoms. Locals in Paignton have started sharing their experiences of the disease on social media.

Devon Live has been told by numerous Brixham residents about the prolonged illness they are enduring and its negative effects on their daily lives. Most of these reports come from those who live in Higher Brixham.