Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by microscopic germs – parasites called Cryptosporidium. Cryptosporidium can be found in water, food, soil or on surfaces or dirty hands that have been contaminated with the faeces of infected humans or animals.

What are the symptoms and how long do they last?
Symptoms usually begin 2 to 10 days (average 7 days) after being infected and include:
• Watery diarrhoea
• Stomach cramps or pain
• Feeling sick or vomiting
• Fever
• Weight loss

Symptoms usually last about 1 to 2 weeks in people with healthy immune systems but can last longer and be more severe in people with weakened immune systems. Some people will have no symptoms at all.

Why is there a Boil Water Notice in place?
Boil Water Notices are issued by water companies as a precaution when they have identified a possible problem with the water or treatment system. You are being advised to boil your tap water in case there are any bugs in the water that could make you ill. Boiling water will kill any bugs in the water.

What do I need to do?
• Do not drink tap water without boiling it first
• This includes water from any appliance connected to your water supply such as a fridge water dispenser.

Priority Services Register for vulnerable customers
If you have a medical need, your water company may be able to give you extra help, like delivering bottled water in an emergency. To get this extra help, make sure your name is added to your water company’s Priority Services Register. For South West Water please call 0344346 1010.

Cryptosporidiosis Factsheet

South West Boil Water Public Health Advice