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

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.

0 comments

Other News Stories

09:27

Budleigh Salterton could be left out of pocket covering cuts to services by district and county council chiefs, it has been warned.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:09
Elections take place on May 7

East Devon’s election chief has apologised after an error was identified in the postal voting papers sent out to some electors.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:36

A new 210-place primary school could be opening in Exmouth, offering children a different kind of curriculum.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:28

Fire crews have been called to a fire at the Spar store in Budleigh Salterton.

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
A book written by the late Barbara Smale was handed over to local school children at the Exmouth library this week. The youngsters from Exeter Road primary are pictured with their headteacher Paul Gosling, Chris Launder from the library, Barbara's husband Colin, illustrator Jemma Cholawo, publishers Rachel and Drummond Johnstone and Judy Vallance who sponsored the publication. The book will be given out free to local schools. Ref exe 3280-15-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Children from Exeter Road Community Primary School have got their hands on a new book written by an Exmouth author.

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Clare Teal at the Budleigh Jazz Festival.

The future of Budleigh Jazz Festival could be in doubt after its organiser announced he was stepping down from the role.

Read more
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Pete Lowres

Devon Freewheeler volunteer Pete Lowres, 46, knows every penny that drops into the charity’s collection pots is vital to continue its lifeline work.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Father Trevor Smyth with Bishop Richard Hawkins. Fr Trevor says farewell to his parishioners at his final service at All Saint's Church, Exeter Road, as he retires from his post. Ref exe 3343-16-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

An Exmouth vicar has said a fond farewell to his parishioners after more than 14 years.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015
T-Rex

Phear Park and Manor Gardens are being discussed as possible venues for the return of dinosaurs to Exmouth.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015

Devon Freewheelers operates daily ‘hand-to-mouth’, never knowing where its next penny will come from.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



Exmouth's trusted business finder