The HSE along with Limerick City and County Council have prohibited human consumption of a water supply at Croagh Kilfinny GAA grounds in Co Limerick after it was found to be unsatisfactory with harmful bacteria.
An investigation of the GAA club’s water supply was initiated after an outbreak of gastro-enteritis among the Limerick and Wexford senior camogie squads, as well as the Limerick and Kerry junior camogie squads after they took part in a series of matches at Croagh Kilfinny GAA grounds on Saturday, June 29 last.
This evening the HSE stated that the investigation found that, “at the time of sampling, the water supply was unsatisfactory with the presence of coliforms and E. coli”.
“Limerick City and County Council, in consultation with the HSE, have prohibited the use of the water for human consumption.”
The HSE’s Public Health, Environmental Health Departments, Regional Microbiology and Public Health Laboratories along with a National Reference Laboratory and Limerick City and County Council are investigating what specifically led the gastro-enteritis outbreak.
The HSE stated: “On the basis of laboratory results the Outbreak Control Team has concluded that the outbreak was due to Norovirus infection”.
Norovirus infection (also called the winter vomiting bug) is one of the most common causes of gastro-enteritis.
The symptoms of norovirus may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. The symptoms may come on extremely quickly (within hours and occasionally within minutes).
“The illness is usually brief, with symptoms lasting only about one or two days. Most people make a full recovery however some people (especially young children or the elderly) may become very dehydrated and require hospital treatment,” it added.
There is no specific treatment for norovirus apart from letting the illness run its course. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
“Noroviruses are highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Both faeces and vomit of an infected person contain the virus and are infectious. People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to 2/3 days after recovery. Some people may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery.
“It is important for people to use good handwashing and other hygienic practices after they have recently recovered from norovirus infection. Anyone who has been ill with gastro-enteritis should stay off work/school until they have been symptom free for at least 48 hours.”
More information on norovirus is available here.