Sickness virus in River Otter sparks warning not to swim or paddle in rivers

PUBLISHED: 10:08 17 September 2012

River Otter

River Otter

Archant

People are being warned to stay away from the River Otter at Budleigh Salterton after several school children were taken ill.

District council environmental health chiefs said last Friday that some children playing in the river had become ill with severe vomiting.

As a result they are warning people not to paddle in any East Devon river for the time being.

Tests have shown that they were infected with Norovirus, which is a highly infectious form of gastroenteritis.

Signs advising the public not to bathe or paddle in the river have today (Friday) been put up near the mouth of the River Otter at the Lime Kiln carpark.

It usually takes 24 to 48 hours for symptoms to appear, and these may last for 12 to 60 hours. Typical symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

People affected can also experience high temperatures and tiredness. In healthy individuals the infection is likely to be short lived and can lead to dehydration.

The virus can be spread from person to person, but in this case it is likely that the source was contaminated river water. Two other incidents have been reported which may also have been linked to playing in rivers.

It is believed that people who have been infected may continue to be contagious for up to two weeks even after symptoms have faded. It is not possible to build up immunity to this virus, making it especially important to maintain good personal hygiene, washing your hands often.

A spokesman for East Devon District Council said: “EDDC is working with the Environment Agency in order to find out if there is a specific source of the contamination which might have caused Norovirus in the river water.

“In the meantime they are advising the public not to bathe or paddle in the rivers.

“This has been a particularly difficult summer for maintaining good water quality and the rivers have been flooded several times.

“Flood waters take run-off from fields as well as excess water from the drainage system, and may take some time to clear. “

If you have any queries regarding Norovirus or the safety of river water, please contact EDDC Environmental Health on 01395 517 456.

If you are suffering from symptoms please telephone your doctor in the first instance for advice.

Other News Stories

A 22-year-old man from Exmouth who sent sexts - explicit texts - to an underage girl, has been handed a suspended jail sentence and ordered to attend a sex offenders’ programme and rehabilitation by a judge at Exeter Crown Court

Read more

Jon Wheatley and Denise James, of South West in Bloom, were taken on a three-hour tour of the town’s gardens and flower beds.

Read more

A family-friendly ‘well-regarded’ pub in Exmouth has gone on the market ; the Country House, in Withycombe Raleigh, is up for sale.

Read more

An Exmouth park has been targeted by vandals who sprayed ‘obscene’ graffiti over paths and play equipment

Read more
17:09

The developer behind a proposed watersports centre on Exmouth seafront says investigative work it has carried out at the site will inform its latest plans.

Read more

Exmouth House Residential Home, in Long Causeway, has officially opened its new dementia sensory garden, after months of hard work and fundraising.

Read more

Exmouth beach turned classroom for Beacon Primary School pupils taking part in RNLI Hit the Surf sessions

Read more
13:15

New measures aimed at cracking down on antisocial behaviour in Exmouth town centre, including drug taking and aggressive begging, have come into force.

Read more
16:10

Planning guidelines for selected villages in East Devon, including Woodbury and East Budleigh, have reached a crucial stage in their planned implementation.

Read more

Town will go to the polls in September, at the Public Hall, to decide whether to accept the plan.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 13°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


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