Newport Centre pool sickness outbreak spreads

NO SWIMMING: Newport Centre pool

COLD SWEATS: Rob Wigmore, of Newport, started feeling ill soon after going to the Newport Centre pool

First published in News

THE outbreak of a vomiting bug that closed Newport Centre pool may be more widespread than health officials first thought.

The pool was closed last Thursday, after seven out of 14 people in Gwent who contracted cryptosporidiosis – which can cause watery diarrhoea, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, and fever – since mid-August, were found to have used the pool.

The results of water samples confirmed the presence of the bug cryptosporidium at the pool and the outbreak was made public on Tuesday.

Newport council originally stated the pool was closed for “essential maintenance” a week before the outbreak was revealed.

But it said it had no evidence of the bug at this time and closed the pool as a precaution.

Since our story yesterday four people who have either not been to their GP or been tested for cryptosporidiosis have since contacted the Argus concerned at having fallen ill after using the pool.

Rob Wigmore, of Newport, went to the pool on Saturday, September 1 and started getting what he described as “cold sweats” soon afterwards.

He too has not sought help from his GP, but said: “It developed into much worse than a stomach bug and I’ve lost about half a stone.

“At one stage the sentences were getting disjointed when I spoke and the fever has felt very different.”

Ian Thomas, from St Julians, Newport, is only just recovering from more than two weeks of intermittent sickness and diarrhoea.

He is an occasional user of the pool and last went there in mid-August, falling ill a few days later.

“It’s been very unpleasant but I just thought it was something nasty I could have picked up from anywhere.

But reading about the symptoms, they are a perfect fit,” he said.

Another woman swimmer from Newport has lost almost a stone in weight in less than two weeks and is asking her GP to be tested for the disease.

She fell ill five days after a swimming party at the pool for her son’s birthday on August 26, and had been off work from her café job after being what she described as “violently ill”.

“I can’t shake it. One day I feel like I’m getting better, then it comes back and I can’t keep anything down,” she said.

A fourth pool user, also from Newport, said: “I’ve had a stomach bug for two weeks.

“The symptoms came on quick and are the same as for this bug,” he said.

Deep clean before reopening

A NEWPORT council spokeswoman said when the pool was closed on September 6 there was no definite link between the bug and the pool.

She added: “As soon as it was confirmed there was a presence of cryptosporidium in the water we immediately communicated this finding. To have done so before would have been premature without the full facts.” She said the pool will now be drained and deep cleaned and would only reopen when the council was 100 per cent confident that no-one is at risk.

A spokeswoman for Public Health Wales said the matter was not made public earlier until all cases were confirmed and a potential link between them was found.

She said more people may have been affected but it was currently only treating the situation as an outbreak involving 14 confirmed cases.

Anyone with concerns about their health, particularly in light of the cryptosporidiosis outbreak, should contact their GP or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

 


 

COMMENT: Better to be open earlier

 

THE closure of the Newport Centre swimming pool following an outbreak of a sickness bug is, of course, entirely the right course of action by the city council.

We have a concern, however, over the timings of the pool closure and the announcement that the cryptosporidiosis bug had been discovered in water samples.

The pool was closed last Thursday. At the time, the council posted a message on Twitter saying the closure was for ‘essential maintenance’.

On Tuesday came the news the real reason for the closure was the bug outbreak.

We do not suggest there was anything untoward in this, nor do we advocate causing unnecessary concern or panic among pool users. But we think it would have been better to have explained to the public the reason for the closure at the earliest opportunity, even if the link between the sickness outbreak and the pool was as yet unproven.

The question now is how long will the pool be closed and, more importantly, how many people have been made ill by swimming there.

Public Health Wales said initially that seven of the 14 cases were linked to the pool, though a further four people have contacted this newspaper since we reported the closure.

There is every chance more people have had the bug but not linked it to swimming at the pool and not gone to their GP.

Comments (14)

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10:15am Thu 13 Sep 12

sweetiepie says...

My children and I went swimming regularly during the six weeks school holidays, I even took my son last Wednesday - we've all been fine. I hope those that are ill get better soon :)
My children and I went swimming regularly during the six weeks school holidays, I even took my son last Wednesday - we've all been fine. I hope those that are ill get better soon :) sweetiepie
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Thu 13 Sep 12

hiwsnpt says...

We have regulary been ill after childrens parties at Newport Centre. I always thought it was he toilet lay out in the male urinals. I have seen many young toddlers standing to have a pee and leaning against the tiles with their hands (the tiles are part of the toilet). They wash their hands and then go out for the children's meals. It's just strange that so many little ones end up ill after parties here (more tha one would expect)
We have regulary been ill after childrens parties at Newport Centre. I always thought it was he toilet lay out in the male urinals. I have seen many young toddlers standing to have a pee and leaning against the tiles with their hands (the tiles are part of the toilet). They wash their hands and then go out for the children's meals. It's just strange that so many little ones end up ill after parties here (more tha one would expect) hiwsnpt
  • Score: 0

9:35pm Thu 13 Sep 12

Kim2686 says...

My daughter is 2yrs old an was the first to be tested for this bug. after 1 week of constant diherra it was confirmed it then went on for a second week.. week 3 an I caught it I have also had to take 3 weeks off work because of this.
My daughter is 2yrs old an was the first to be tested for this bug. after 1 week of constant diherra it was confirmed it then went on for a second week.. week 3 an I caught it I have also had to take 3 weeks off work because of this. Kim2686
  • Score: 0

9:59am Fri 14 Sep 12

the dork says...

If this pool is being run by a private company for Newport Council we should get a statement from the Councils Environmental Health Dept about their monitoring regime of the pools disinfection procedures. Frequently in some pools these 2 hour checks are done by young pool attendants that are not monitored. Is this the case at this pool? If the Council runs the Centre directly the HSE need to step in to monitor that it is being done correctly.

The Centre should also be routinely checked for legionella.
If this pool is being run by a private company for Newport Council we should get a statement from the Councils Environmental Health Dept about their monitoring regime of the pools disinfection procedures. Frequently in some pools these 2 hour checks are done by young pool attendants that are not monitored. Is this the case at this pool? If the Council runs the Centre directly the HSE need to step in to monitor that it is being done correctly. The Centre should also be routinely checked for legionella. the dork
  • Score: 0

10:40am Fri 14 Sep 12

boopbiddleoop says...

the dork wrote:
If this pool is being run by a private company for Newport Council we should get a statement from the Councils Environmental Health Dept about their monitoring regime of the pools disinfection procedures. Frequently in some pools these 2 hour checks are done by young pool attendants that are not monitored. Is this the case at this pool? If the Council runs the Centre directly the HSE need to step in to monitor that it is being done correctly.

The Centre should also be routinely checked for legionella.
@dork
This is not the case at the newport centre. there is a highly competent team monitoring the pool and it's water quality. This team is managed by a very competent and conscientious manager who takes the work very seriously. don't you think that the fact that there has been no question of the hse stepping in speaks volumes for the procedures and policies in place at the facility already. There is yet to be a completely infallible method of eradicating human pathogens from any public space and i doubt very much there ever will be. I believe the leisure centre has done, and will continue to do, everything in its power to serve the best interests of the public who are at the end of the day their customers. You can’t just invent wild theories on how staff at the pool may possibly be to blame, there is no scandal here just a terribly unfortunate case of people falling ill because of an individual or individuals who used the pool’s facilities when they were unwell. That is the lesson that needs to be learnt from this, pool users need to stop ignoring the signs which tell them to shower before entering the pool, (thus greatly reducing the number of pathogens they might introduce to the water), they should definitely wash their hands after visiting toilets and should certainly not use the facilities when they are unwell, after all it wasn’t a member of staff who introduced these germs which made everyone ill it was a member of the public.
[quote][p][bold]the dork[/bold] wrote: If this pool is being run by a private company for Newport Council we should get a statement from the Councils Environmental Health Dept about their monitoring regime of the pools disinfection procedures. Frequently in some pools these 2 hour checks are done by young pool attendants that are not monitored. Is this the case at this pool? If the Council runs the Centre directly the HSE need to step in to monitor that it is being done correctly. The Centre should also be routinely checked for legionella.[/p][/quote]@dork This is not the case at the newport centre. there is a highly competent team monitoring the pool and it's water quality. This team is managed by a very competent and conscientious manager who takes the work very seriously. don't you think that the fact that there has been no question of the hse stepping in speaks volumes for the procedures and policies in place at the facility already. There is yet to be a completely infallible method of eradicating human pathogens from any public space and i doubt very much there ever will be. I believe the leisure centre has done, and will continue to do, everything in its power to serve the best interests of the public who are at the end of the day their customers. You can’t just invent wild theories on how staff at the pool may possibly be to blame, there is no scandal here just a terribly unfortunate case of people falling ill because of an individual or individuals who used the pool’s facilities when they were unwell. That is the lesson that needs to be learnt from this, pool users need to stop ignoring the signs which tell them to shower before entering the pool, (thus greatly reducing the number of pathogens they might introduce to the water), they should definitely wash their hands after visiting toilets and should certainly not use the facilities when they are unwell, after all it wasn’t a member of staff who introduced these germs which made everyone ill it was a member of the public. boopbiddleoop
  • Score: 0

11:05am Fri 14 Sep 12

boopbiddleoop says...

Comment on the comment

"But we think it would have been better to have explained to the public the reason for the closure at the earliest opportunity, even if the link between the sickness outbreak and the pool was as yet unproven."

If the link between the outbreak and the pool was unproven then surely there was nothing to inform anyone of? what should they have said 'dear public some people have fallen ill - we have no idea whether its got anything to do with us but hey what the hell we're going to tell you that's the reason our pool is shut' I don't think anyone in their right mind is stupid enough to sit on the information that their workplace is at the centre of an outbreak and tell people its shut for maintenance i think it was just a very unfortunate coincidence that they shut the pool for maintenance and then got told of the link. it was unfortunate for them because it does look bad but rather lucky for anyone who was thinking of using the pool before there was a proven link to the outbreak, it may have prevented a few more cases of the illness
Comment on the comment "But we think it would have been better to have explained to the public the reason for the closure at the earliest opportunity, even if the link between the sickness outbreak and the pool was as yet unproven." If the link between the outbreak and the pool was unproven then surely there was nothing to inform anyone of? what should they have said 'dear public some people have fallen ill - we have no idea whether its got anything to do with us but hey what the hell we're going to tell you that's the reason our pool is shut' I don't think anyone in their right mind is stupid enough to sit on the information that their workplace is at the centre of an outbreak and tell people its shut for maintenance i think it was just a very unfortunate coincidence that they shut the pool for maintenance and then got told of the link. it was unfortunate for them because it does look bad but rather lucky for anyone who was thinking of using the pool before there was a proven link to the outbreak, it may have prevented a few more cases of the illness boopbiddleoop
  • Score: 0

6:31pm Fri 14 Sep 12

Kimlicon says...

My daughter and grand daughter have both been ill with the bug. I accept that the pool is not the primary source of infection however if tests
conducted by environmental health showed the presence of this debilitating bug why did the staff tests not show it? My daughter has been unable to work for almost 3 weeks and my grand daughter was not allowed to go to childcare.
Im just thankful my 10 month grand daughter did not contract this vile bug!
My daughter and grand daughter have both been ill with the bug. I accept that the pool is not the primary source of infection however if tests conducted by environmental health showed the presence of this debilitating bug why did the staff tests not show it? My daughter has been unable to work for almost 3 weeks and my grand daughter was not allowed to go to childcare. Im just thankful my 10 month grand daughter did not contract this vile bug! Kimlicon
  • Score: 0

8:08am Sat 15 Sep 12

boopbiddleoop says...

maybe its not something that can be detected until people get ill ... who knows? who said the environmental health did any tests? that's all the public health authority do is get information from gps about people who've been ill then they send questionnaires to the people who have been ill and see if they have had any common experiences (such as a visit to the same leisure centre) the public health authority then let the facility know that a number of people who've fallen ill have visited them in a certain time period. I heard that as soon as the leisure centre heard there was one person who could've gotten the bug at their pool they paid to have their own independent tests done so they could act straight away if the bug was present. i think that's going above and beyond the call of duty
maybe its not something that can be detected until people get ill ... who knows? who said the environmental health did any tests? that's all the public health authority do is get information from gps about people who've been ill then they send questionnaires to the people who have been ill and see if they have had any common experiences (such as a visit to the same leisure centre) the public health authority then let the facility know that a number of people who've fallen ill have visited them in a certain time period. I heard that as soon as the leisure centre heard there was one person who could've gotten the bug at their pool they paid to have their own independent tests done so they could act straight away if the bug was present. i think that's going above and beyond the call of duty boopbiddleoop
  • Score: 0

10:01am Sat 15 Sep 12

Kimlicon says...

I know environmental health did the tests as it was my grand daughter tha t was the first to be tested and diagnosed and they have been in constant contact with my daughter the whole time.

3 weeks on and they are still testing positive for this bug. As i said previously the pool is not the primary source but maybe this test should now be made regularly and this bug will show as it is spread via water and air,
I know environmental health did the tests as it was my grand daughter tha t was the first to be tested and diagnosed and they have been in constant contact with my daughter the whole time. 3 weeks on and they are still testing positive for this bug. As i said previously the pool is not the primary source but maybe this test should now be made regularly and this bug will show as it is spread via water and air, Kimlicon
  • Score: 0

11:11am Sat 15 Sep 12

boopbiddleoop says...

ye they would've tested your grand daughter, not the water at the leisure centre, that was my point, they can't be expected to test every individual who uses the pool, that would send the pool prices sky high, i'd rather pay £2 odd for a swim than £62 each time. this bug is a fecal-oral pathogen - nothing to do with the air you've got to swallow the germs that are passed on from people who are infected and haven't washed their hands or in this case perhaps they didn't wipe their bum properly and the germs got in the water which was then swallowed.
ye they would've tested your grand daughter, not the water at the leisure centre, that was my point, they can't be expected to test every individual who uses the pool, that would send the pool prices sky high, i'd rather pay £2 odd for a swim than £62 each time. this bug is a fecal-oral pathogen - nothing to do with the air you've got to swallow the germs that are passed on from people who are infected and haven't washed their hands or in this case perhaps they didn't wipe their bum properly and the germs got in the water which was then swallowed. boopbiddleoop
  • Score: 0

11:54am Sat 15 Sep 12

boopbiddleoop says...

I know where you’re coming from with your concerns about the illness, I had campylobacter myself a few months ago which has pretty similar symptoms, extreme stomach pain frequent watery diarrhoea and that had to be reported to the public health authority too because it’s a ‘communicable disease’ (which basically means spread by poor hygiene of infected persons). I have no idea where I could have got it from I think I must have been unlucky enough to come into contact with someone who hadn’t washed their hands after being to the toilet. It was well over two weeks before I received a questionnaire from the environmental health people to try and find if there was a link between my illness and anybody else’s to prevent an outbreak – maybe we should point the finger at them for not being quick enough with these things? Thankfully due to my good hygiene I didn’t pass it on to any of my family – I would’ve been devastated if my baby daughter had caught it because it was so horrible so I know how upset your family must be. But at the end of the day the only reason disease like this are still in circulation is poor public hygiene, the only way to eradicate them is through washing hands regularly and not going swimming when you’re ill. The leisure centre do a hell of a lot to try to limit these things getting out and sometimes these safeguards aren’t enough, I can’t remember the last time something like this happened in Newport pools can anyone else? If you Google the bug you’d see that normally the disinfection systems in place in swimming pools would be enough but if somebody who was ill had been using the pool very frequently while they were ill it would be enough to overload the system. If people would wash their hands after every visit to the toilet and not go to public places when ill there would be a lot less of these kinds of illnesses about.
I know where you’re coming from with your concerns about the illness, I had campylobacter myself a few months ago which has pretty similar symptoms, extreme stomach pain frequent watery diarrhoea and that had to be reported to the public health authority too because it’s a ‘communicable disease’ (which basically means spread by poor hygiene of infected persons). I have no idea where I could have got it from I think I must have been unlucky enough to come into contact with someone who hadn’t washed their hands after being to the toilet. It was well over two weeks before I received a questionnaire from the environmental health people to try and find if there was a link between my illness and anybody else’s to prevent an outbreak – maybe we should point the finger at them for not being quick enough with these things? Thankfully due to my good hygiene I didn’t pass it on to any of my family – I would’ve been devastated if my baby daughter had caught it because it was so horrible so I know how upset your family must be. But at the end of the day the only reason disease like this are still in circulation is poor public hygiene, the only way to eradicate them is through washing hands regularly and not going swimming when you’re ill. The leisure centre do a hell of a lot to try to limit these things getting out and sometimes these safeguards aren’t enough, I can’t remember the last time something like this happened in Newport pools can anyone else? If you Google the bug you’d see that normally the disinfection systems in place in swimming pools would be enough but if somebody who was ill had been using the pool very frequently while they were ill it would be enough to overload the system. If people would wash their hands after every visit to the toilet and not go to public places when ill there would be a lot less of these kinds of illnesses about. boopbiddleoop
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Sat 15 Sep 12

Kimlicon says...

My daughter took a sample of the little one to the gp as she works in the hospital and has to be careful. When the sample came back positive the gp notified public health who notified environmental health. After lengthy discussion with my daughter it was decided that the pool was to be tested by them not centre staff. If they are guilty of anything its sayin it was
closed for refurb and not being
upfront.
tests are conducted daily on the water maybe this is something they should test for on a daily basis
My daughter took a sample of the little one to the gp as she works in the hospital and has to be careful. When the sample came back positive the gp notified public health who notified environmental health. After lengthy discussion with my daughter it was decided that the pool was to be tested by them not centre staff. If they are guilty of anything its sayin it was closed for refurb and not being upfront. tests are conducted daily on the water maybe this is something they should test for on a daily basis Kimlicon
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Sat 15 Sep 12

Welshman76 says...

As we have seen ths week, the trouble is that newspapers don't give the full story and there's often a case of Chinese whispers. Only the people involved will know exactly what has happened at the centre and with t people who are ill. There's a lot of guessing work from people which isn't always the right story.
As we have seen ths week, the trouble is that newspapers don't give the full story and there's often a case of Chinese whispers. Only the people involved will know exactly what has happened at the centre and with t people who are ill. There's a lot of guessing work from people which isn't always the right story. Welshman76
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Mon 17 Sep 12

digispamman says...

i am not surprised that the water is contaminated. it must be because of unwashed chavs using it!
i am not surprised that the water is contaminated. it must be because of unwashed chavs using it! digispamman
  • Score: 0

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