The water-borne pathogen cryptosporidium was detected in Dublin’s water supply in February 2012. The council said it had notified the Health Service Executive & the Environmental Protection Agency of the findings. It is not uncommon to find minute traces of cryptosporidium in the water supply, noting that there were five such finds in Dublin last year and three in January this year.
In 2007 a large-scale outbreak of cryptosporidium in Galway resulted in up to 250 people becoming ill and the water supply to the city being shut down for five months. The outbreak was linked to untreated sewage getting into Lough Corrib, from where drinking water is sourced.
Cryptosporidium usually enters water systems via human and animal waste. Ingestion of the bug by humans can cause abdominal cramping and diarrhoea. However, in immuno-compromised individuals the symptoms can be more severe and even fatal.
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