Parasite-ravaged faculty closed as ‘explosive’ illness leaves city bedbound

A school has closed after an “explosive” stomach bug has ripped through a town rendering it bedbound.

Residents in south Devon have been issued an alarming warning about their contaminated water and advised to boil anything from their taps before drinking it after a parasite was discovered in the supply.

A cryptosporidium bug has struck down people across the area, after initial tests by South West Water found supplies were clean.

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Eden Park Primary and Nursery in Brixham has told parents it can’t operate while drinking water isn’t possible, reports The Mirror.

Brixham Harbour
Residents in Brixham have been complaining of the worst symptoms ever

In a letter to parents, the school said it hoped to re-open on Friday “pending deliveries and the situation”.

The parasite causes severe diarrhoea and stomach cramps, as well as nausea, vomiting, low-grade fever and a loss of appetite.

One resident hit by the bug described the effects as the worst she’d had.

Cryptosporidium bug
Cryptosporidium has been found in Devon water supplies

Tanya Matthews, from Ocean View told DevonLive: “I started having stomach cramps and explosive diarrhoea nine days ago and it has been the same every day since. I started to feel a little bit better yesterday then today [May 14] it hit me again.”

She was told by South West Water that her supply was clean, which Tanya doubted.

She said: “I don’t know how that’s possible when every house in our street has someone who is ill. So many people are sick in the area.”

Woman holding her stomach in pain
Symptoms include stomach cramps and ‘explosive diarrhoea’

A South West Water spokesperson said: “Customers in Alston and the Hillhead area of Brixham are advised to boil their drinking water before consuming following new test results for cryptosporidium. We are issuing this notice following small traces of the organism identified overnight and this morning [May 15].

“We are working with the UK Health Security Agency and other public health partners to urgently investigate and eliminate the source. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated. Bottled water stations will be set up in the affected areas as soon as possible.”

James Longley, Managing Director at Utility Bidder commented: “First and foremost, it isn’t just drinking that is a clear issue; you shouldn’t be using the affected water for brushing your teeth, or washing dishes, food, or your hands.”

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