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No doubt we’ll be told it’s the water company’s fault

A child contracted the rare Weil’s disease after swimming in a river, an Essex council has said.

Dedham parish council said the student “suffered a severe infection after swimming in the River Stour at Dedham, and has been very poorly”.

In a letter published online, the authority said it was a “confirmed case of Weil’s disease (leptospirosis), which can be very serious”.

The disease is spread in the urine of infected animals, most commonly rats, mice, cows, pigs and dogs.

People can contract Weil’s disease if soil or fresh water gets in their mouth, eyes or a cut.

Nationalise ’em Danno.

Except, of course, the number of rats (etc etc) in the river is nothing to do with the water cpompany….

12 thoughts on “No doubt we’ll be told it’s the water company’s fault”

  1. It’s a hard one to control. Dogs can be vaccinated but it appears the uptake is less than 50%. Not a lot you can do about rodents.

    As well as cows and pigs, sheep are also a potential source of infection. Particularly if slaughtered illegally in early April anywhere near a river in a populated area.

  2. The Meissen Bison

    There was a time when newspapers used clear vocabulary to describe young people by age whereby a child was older than a toddler but younger than a teenager who in turn was younger than a student who would be attending a university.

    Now the words child and student are seemingly synonymous.

  3. Fishermen have known about the threat of Weil’s disease for years…why are the wild swimming people not similarly aware?

    And no, it’s got as much to do with the water company as sun flares have to do with ‘global warming’ but that won’t stop the usual suspects mounting their hobby horses for a good gallop.

  4. What if the “Rat” turns out to be actually a Water Vole – the “Rattee” of The Wind in the Willows – a now rare and protected species?
    Oh the dilemma: protect the poor endangered creature or Think of the Children and call in Rentokil?

  5. @TMB: it handily allows yer media to say that police strip-searched a “child” while not making clear how old, or how big, this “child” was. The trick seems to be particularly popular in the USA.

  6. Dog faeces has to be picked up. Deer, cattle, cats, mice, rats and so on all crap too. Owls regurgitate. Not to mention those bloody pigeons. It’s the countryside. It’s not clean and can’t be made so. AND it’s racist, so best keep out.

  7. So, does “after swimming in the river” necessarily mean the infection came from the river? How about “after eating lunch” or “after attending school”?

  8. JuliaM,

    I don’t get this at all. We were raised on “go to the swimming pool” by everyone. Swimming in lakes and rivers was what you did for a dare. I’ve done it in France and Italy where it’s a bit warmer, but even then, you have to know the risks.

  9. They banned rat poison locally (the effective stuff at least) of course there’s no a large increase in rats, saw one in my garden for the first time in a few years a couple of days ago, did also see some coyotes so hopefully they will keep the numbers down.

  10. @julia

    Tbf there does seem to be some awareness of Weil’s among wild swimmers. But every time they moan about human sewage in rivers they want to swim in, while as a river-user myself I can sympathise with their concerns, I am always left wondering “if it’s a ‘wild’ river, what other animals’ sewage is in that river, and why are you so keen to immerse yourself in it?”

  11. Swanny, it wouldn’t…
    They would be the only “wildlife” and feed on each other if they can’t get anything else.

    Do not underestimate rats, they’re even bigger Survivors than us or pigs.

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