Anger over river bug closure ‘delay’

PUBLISHED: 10:19 27 September 2012

River Otter

River Otter

Archant

Health chiefs have been criticised for taking several weeks to ‘close’ the River Otter - despite 20 swimmers reporting they had fallen ill.

Earlier this month, environmental health at East Devon District Council (EDDC) warned people not to paddle in the River Otter or any other East Devon river.

Children had contracted the highly-infectious norovirus after paddling near the Lime Kiln car park.

The warning, which will remain in place until after the October half-term holiday, led to the cancellation of the Budleigh Salterton Lions Club annual Duck Race.

But last week, in a Facebook posting reacting to the story on the Journal’s website, Christina Lodge said: “I don’t know why they are only just warning the public now, when we reported this to environmental health at the beginning of the summer holidays when over 20 of us were ill with the virus after a day out (at Dotton Ford near Newton Poppleford).

“It’s a shame they didn’t act sooner, so more people could have avoided this bug.”

A district council spokesman said that the illness was reported five days afterwards when one of the swimmers belatedly made the connection.

He said: “Too much time had elapsed between the swimming in the river and the potential link being reported to us to enable samples to be taken.

“The doctors’ surgeries involved did not test for norovirus or report the situation to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

“The Environment Agency (EA) did sample the river water the next day and the results did not show any unusual levels of contamination.”

He said in the recent Lime Kiln case, it was the HPA which raised the alarm and advised the families affected to contact environmental health.

He said: “They did this within 48 hours of being in the river.”

A discussion between EDDC, the HPA and the EA then revealed the previous case at Dotton, and a third confirmed case in Stoke Canon on the River Exe.

He added: “Taking all of this into account, we made a joint decision to send out the warning.”

If you come into contact with the river, you are advised not to swallow any water and wash your hands, faces and any wetsuits.

0 comments

Other News Stories

06:30

A competition has been launched to inspire people to provide habitats for bees.

Read more
Fri, 16:06

A thieving son who broke into his father’s home when he was in hospital has been jailed after the victim told a judge he had broken his heart.

Read more
Fri, 15:32

A professional footballer paedophile who worked in Exmouth and was found guilty of child abuse has been told by a judge his ‘long jail sentence’ has been adjourned so he can apply for legal aid.

Read more
Fri, 14:50

A Judge has banned nightmare neighbour Alex Humphreys from returning to her former address in Exmouth after her ‘disgraceful’ behaviour towards other residents.

Read more
Fri, 12:55

Exmouth and Lympstone Hospiscare said it has been ‘humbled’ by the selfless generosity of the Harbour View Café.

Read more
Fri, 11:45

Police are appealing for information after an arm shield was stolen from a parked vehicle in Exmouth.

Read more
Fri, 11:02

Plans to demolish a restaurant in Exmouth and replace it with seven houses have been withdrawn by the applicant, although revised plans are expected soon.

Read more
Fri, 10:00

An Exmouth family business is warning others to be vigilant after falling victim to a scam costing it around £1,500.

Read more
Fri, 06:30

A weekly class, inspired by a pensioner who is learning to read for the first time, has been launched in Exmouth.

Read more
Thu, 14:42

‘Be alert, not alarmed’ is the message coming from police in the wake of the attack in Westminster yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications