Confirmed cases of parasite illness more than double

The confirmed cases of a waterborne disease caused by a parasite have more than doubled.

There are 46 cases of cryptosporidiosis, a diarrhoeal illness, the UK Health Security Agency has said – with more than 100 further people reporting similar symptoms in the Brixham area.

Other reported cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in residents and visitors to the south Devon town are also under investigation.

Residents in parts of Brixham and Alston were told to boil their drinking water on Wednesday after South West Water found “small traces” of the parasite cryptosporidium – which causes cryptosporidiosis – in the Hillhead reservoir.

The company said earlier this week tap water was safe to drink, but then issued a boil notice to 16,000 households and businesses in Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland and North West Paignton.

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‘Cow faeces’ infected Devon water

The UKHSA is working with Torbay Council, South West Water, NHS Devon and the Environment Agency.

Hundreds of locals have reported feeling unwell over the last two weeks on a local Facebook group.

More on Devon

What is cryptosporidiosis disease?

Speaking to Sky News yesterday, South West Water’s chief customer officer Laura Flowerdew confirmed it was likely a broken air valve contaminated by animal faeces that had caused the outbreak.

However, she refused to give a timeframe on how long the incident would run on for – leaving thousands of residents facing an uncertain future.

It comes as hotel owners in the area told Sky News the outbreak has led to people cancelling their stay, while a head chef said “I can’t wash salad in the sink”.

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