Anger over river bug closure ‘delay’

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

Yesterday, 12:30
Kaz Lobendhan of the south devon chilli farm with staff at Darts Farm about to take the chilli challenge. Ref ext 2706-34-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

People visiting a Topsham-based farm shop were being asked to test their taste buds as part of a chilli tasting test.

Read more
Dame Hilary Mantel: 'As I work my way through the third book it often feels as exciting as the first day I started'

World-renowned author Dame Hilary Mantel has spoken of her love for Budleigh Salterton in an exclusive interview with Devon Life magazine.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015

The most common tactic fraudsters used last year to try to con Devon residents’ out of cash was to offer a ‘free’ trial.

Read more
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Janice is pictured with Managing Partner, Neil Curtis left and Exmouth Partner Ruskin Wilson after receiving her bouquet of flowers and card.

An accountant is celebrating her 30th anniversary with an Exmouth firm.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Harry Wilkes celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends at Amberwood Nursing Home on Exeter Road this week. Harry is pictured enjoying his day with his family. Ref exe 8446-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

At least 40 friends and three generations of family turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of Exmouth’s newest centenarian, Harry Wilkes.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Yvonne Wardrop in the glider she flew in for her 90th birthday present.

An Exmouth great-grandmother has enjoyed a 90th birthday celebration with a difference – taking to the skies in a glider.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Founder of Exmouth Zop passes away

Trudy Smith, who died earlier this month, aged 85, had a truly remarkable life.

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Swimmers head down to the River Exe on Saturday in the Topsham to Turf charity swim. Ref ext 7870-35-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Pictures:

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
The Red Arrows at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5777-35-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Pictues:

Read more
Friday, August 28, 2015
Littleham's Brianna Evans, currently Miss Devon is preparing for the Miss England competition. Ref exe 5655-30-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A Littleham teenager, whose hopes of becoming Miss England were dashed by a health scare, has been given automatic entry into next year’s contest.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition today E-edition


Exmouth's trusted business finder