doc

FOURTEEN people in Gwent have been struck down by a bug that has triggered the closure of the swimming pool at the Newport Centre.

Environmental and public health experts are investigating the outbreak of cryptosporidiosis - which can cause watery diarrhoea, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting and fever - with cases having been reported since mid-August.

Seven of those affected had used the pool, and after water sampling revealed the presence of the bug cryptosporidium, it was closed last Thursday.

Investigations are continuing but it is not known how the other seven people were infected.

"We know that seven of the 14 people who have become unwell since mid-August have visited the swimming pool at the Newport Centre," said Dr Lika Nehaul, consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales.

However, some had other possible exposure that could explain their infection, so we are keeping an open mind about any possible links. The pool remains closed and no date has been set for its reopening.

Cryptosporidiosis can affect people of any age but is most common in children aged one-five years. It is often associated with travel overseas and can be acquired from other people, from animals, and from drinking or swimming in contaminated water.

Although outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis do occur, it is not unusual for Public Health Wales to be notified of sporadic cases throughout the year, that cannot be linked to others. here are up to 400 cases a year in Wales.

‘Stay away from work if you have symptoms’

CRYPTOSPORIDIOSIS can affect people of any age but is most common in children aged one-five years.

It can be picked up from other people, from animals, and from drinking or swimming in contaminated water. Although outbreaks occur, it is not unusual for Public Health Wales to be notified of sporadic cases. There are up to 400 cases a year in Wales.

“Anyone with symptoms should stay away from work or school until 48 hours after symptoms have stopped,” said Dr Nehaul. “Anyone diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis should wait two weeks after their diarrhoea has stopped before using any swimming pool.”

More information is available from Public Health Wales at www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/44044

Anyone with health concerns should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

Have you been hit by the bug from the Newport Centre?

Let us know by calling 01633 777226, e-mail newsdesk@southwalesargus.co.uk or via text on 80360 starting the message ARGUS NEWS