England

Diarrhoea bug linked to Swindon swimming pool

Oasis leisure centre
Image caption A third of the 30 confirmed cases in Swindon since June are potentially linked to swimming at the Oasis pool

An outbreak of a sickness and diarrhoea bug in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire is four times more prevalent than normal.

Public Health England (PHE) said 87 cases of the parasite Cryptosporidium had been identified since the beginning of June.

A number of cases have been linked to the Oasis leisure centre swimming pool in Swindon, which was closed last week as a precautionary measure.

An investigation has been launched to try to find the infection's source.

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic bug that can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

Of 30 cases reported in Swindon, about a third have been linked to the Oasis, a PHE spokesman said.

Other cases have been confirmed in Wiltshire, as well as further cases in Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean and Stroud.

Image caption The pool was closed after a number of cases of the bug were linked to it

Dr Ayo Oyinloye, public health consultant for Swindon Borough Council, said 87 was an "unusually high number of cases".

"What you would expect for Swindon is less than 10 in a year, and over the summer period you would expect to see about seven cases."

He added that the Oasis pool was now being "deep cleaned".

"Leisure operators GLL, who run the pool, are fully co-operating and the pool has been shut voluntarily whilst the pool water is drained to address any problem."

Dr Toyin Ejidokun from PHE South West said: "We have had confirmed reports of Cryptosporidium infection amongst a number of people who visited the Oasis swimming pool in Swindon earlier this summer, therefore a team of experts is undertaking necessary water sampling to ensure the safety of the swimming pool for all users.

"The swimming pool is one of a number of possible exposures that we are exploring."

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