School forced to close after town is hit by ‘explosive diarrhoea’

School forced to close after town is hit by ‘explosive diarrhoea’

South West Water has urged those living on the south coast of Devon to boil water and leave it to cool (Picture: Alamy Live/BPM)

A school has been forced to close after water contaminated with a parasitic bug is feared to have left hundreds of people sick.

South West Water has urged those living on the south coast of Devon to boil water and leave it to cool to make sure the bug is killed.

The illness is believed to be linked to the parasitic bug cryptosporidium, which causes severe stomach issues.

Symptoms including profuse diarrhoea, stomach pains, vomiting, and fever.

Eden Park Primary School in Brixham announced they will be closing due to the outbreak.

They said yesterday evening: ‘Eden Park Primary School were only informed this afternoon  that the school was in an area where the tap water should be boiled.

‘The school have taken swift action to put safety plans in place and contact the appropriate authorities about providing safe drinking water.

‘At the time of writing this update (7.30pm), and despite repeated calls to South West Water about the urgency of the situation, the school has not received any bottled water or assurances of when water will be delivered.’

South West Water stated: ‘We are currently contacting customers by door drops, SMS text messages, email, social media and voice messages.

Eden Park Primary School in Brixham has been forced to close (Picture: Devon Live/BPM Media)

What is cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidiosis (known as crpyto) is a microscopic parasite (tiny organism) living in the intestines of infected humans or animals and feeding off them.

Anyone can get it, but it is most common in children aged between one
and five.

The most common symptoms are watery diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pains, and fever

Crypto is predominantly a waterborne disease, and infections can be caused by drinking contaminated water or swallowing contaminated water in swimming pools or streams. 

 Many people will recover on their own if they keep drinking plenty of fluids, but in more serious cases it may be necessary to treat the illness with an antiparasitic medicine.

Those affected should stay off school and work for 48 hours since the last episode of illness and away from swimming pools for 14 days after the last episode of illness.

‘The information is also available on the website where people will find a detailed list of affected postcodes. Boil water notices in the form of flyers are being hand-delivered to affected customers.’

Community Facebook page Brixham Fish Town has been inundated with posts and comments from residents saying they have come down with symptoms.

Reports of people becoming poorly in Paignton have also started to emerge.

Tanya Matthews, who lives in Ocean View, claims every home in her street has come down with the same symptoms. 

Those living in the area need to boil water before drinking it (Picture: Getty Images)

She said: ‘I started having stomach cramps and explosive diarrhoea nine days ago and it has been the same every day since.

‘South West Water asked if I had been in the sea or a river but I have not. I also think the water tastes funny and it has been leaving a horrid taste in my mouth.’

Kayley Lewis, who also lives in Ocean Drive, said: ’My eldest son Jacob was the first one of us to be poorly. He ended up in hospital overnight with severe dehydration on May 5.

‘Both my boys have missed a lot of school due to it too.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *