Cryptosporidium rampant in Ireland’s water

Whether it’s a swimming pool in Wales, a rec center in Kansas, or anywhere in Ireland, the advice seems to be the same: don’t swallow to avoid cryptosporidium.

The Irish Independent reports that Dr Frances Lucy, an ecologist and lecturer at the Department of Environmental Science at IT Sligo, has warned that anyone who feels ill following watersports on our lakes and rivers should contact a doctor.

Concerns were raised after tests were carried out at Lough Gill, Co Sligo, and from the River Liffey, Dublin, as part of a joint research project being undertaken by IT Sligo and UCD. Dr Lucy’s warning relates to the dangers for people who accidentally swallow water while swimming or taking part in watersports.

Cryptosporidium is especially dangerous for anyone whose immune system is suppressed — with AIDS patients, the elderly and babies regarded as particularly vulnerable.

The study, which is being funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, hopes to establish why there is a spring peak in the number of human cryptosporidiosis cases in Ireland.

With the final report due to be published in the middle of 2012, Dr Lucy revealed the preliminary findings suggest contamination in both locations is due to both animal and human waste.