Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pools Closed after Seven Swimmers Hit by Bug

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pools Closed after Seven Swimmers Hit by Bug

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Meechan Reporter @SimonMeechan_90

TWO Gateshead pools have been temporarily closed after seven swimmers caught a bug which can cause diarrhoea for "several weeks".

Swimming pools at Dunston Leisure Centre and Blaydon Leisure Centre were closed on Monday and will be shut for "several days" as Public Health England investigates cases of cryptosporidiosis discovered amongst swimmers.

The infection has been found in seven swimmers who have used the leisure centre pools and causes diarrhoea and stomach pains.

In most cases, the diarrhoea subsides after a few days but it can last for weeks.

The council said no other pools in Gateshead have been affected.

Experts from Public Health England (PHE) is working with Gateshead Council's environmental health department on the investigation.

Dr Gayle Dolan, consultant in health protection at PHE's North East Centre, said: "We can confirm we have received reports of seven cases of cryptosporidiosis amongst users at the two leisure centres.

"We are working closely with environmental health colleagues at Gateshead Council to investigate the possible source. As a precautionary measure Gateshead Council have closed the swimming pools so that they can undergo thorough cleansing."

"Cryptosporidiosis is caused by the organism cryptosporidium and produces symptoms of diarrhoea and abdominal pain. In most cases the diarrhoea settles after a few days, but in a small number of cases cryptosporidiosis can be very unpleasant, with diarrhoea lasting for several weeks.

"Anyone who has been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis is advised to avoid swimming for two weeks after symptoms have stopped."

Both pools are closed for a "deep clean" as their water systems are flushed out and cleansed.

Lindsey Murray, Gateshead Council's service director for culture, communities, leisure and volunteering, said: "We take pool water safety and hygiene very seriously and carry out all the regulatory water health and satiety procedures as standard practice. …

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