Diarrhoea outbreak: Doctors issue warning at huge rise in cases over ice in drinks and at swimming pools

Man holding toilet roll

The illness is spread in a number of ways

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 27/10/2023

- 12:46

Updated: 27/10/2023

- 12:56

Britons are urged to be careful as an illness that causes diarrhoea has increased in cases

Cases of cryptosporidiosis, a potentially deadly diarrhoea-causing disease, have risen in the UK.

The illness can be spread in a number of ways, including in contaminated ice in drinks.

More cases have been found in the country in the last couple of months.

This is according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control who have shared a new report.

It said: "An increase in cryptosporidiosis cases has been noted in Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the UK since the end of August and particularly in September 2023.

Woman stomach cramps

There has been a rise in cases


"This could be due to a combination of factors related to travel and extreme climate conditions (heatwaves, heavy rainfall, and flooding) which have particularly affected southern Europe this summer."

The illness has likely spread across Europe due to travel.

It can be contracted by accidentally swallowing anything that has come into contact with the stool of an infected person or animal.

For example, ingesting swimming pool water or eating from a dirty surface.

Contaminated ice in drinks or touching your mouth with dirty hands are also common ways for it to spread.

Cryptosporidiosis can be serious in some cases, even resulting in death in those with a weakened immune system.

The most common signs you have the disease is by having watery diarrhoea, vomiting and experiencing stomach pains or fever.

Symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of days to three or four weeks.

Swimming pool

It can spread in swimming pools


This comes as fears spread over the number of vaccines over 65s are offered in the UK.

This age group are offered four jabs which are all vital to take, according to the NHS.

Those who take over-the-counter health tests have been given a warning.

Experts found some of these tests are only around 10 per cent of the time.

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