Over 1,500 people hit by water parasite

The Local/pvs
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Over 1,500 people hit by water parasite

As many as 1,500 inhabitants in the municipality of Skellefteå in northern Sweden have confirmed in a survey that they have experienced stomach flu symptoms probably caused by a parasite outbreak.


Results from tests of water samples following the parasite infection could be completed on Wednesday.

The web survey conducted by Skellefteå and the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet - SMI) had been answered by 2,300 residents of the municipality by Wednesday lunchtime. Of those around 60 percent, 1,500 people, confirmed that they experienced stomach flu symptoms since April 1st.

Many complained of having had abdominal pain, diarrhea or gassy stomachs.

The survey has confirmed theories that the stomach flu has probably been caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium could have originated in the municipal water supply, local authorities confirmed at a press conference in Skellefteå on Wednesday.

SMI's results on drinking water samples, expected at the latest on Thursday could be completed already Thursday afternoon.

"But whatever the outcome, we maintain the recommendations published on our website," said Skellefteå municipal council head Kristina Jonsson Sundin at the press conference.

She said that the City has had meetings with all of their activities.

Twelve people have been admitted to Skellefteå Hospital with symptoms of stomach flu that can have been caused by the parasite Cryptosporidium. Samples have been taken to determine if their condition is parasite related.

Skellefteå is set to receive help from Östersund, the city in Jämtland which experienced a similar outbreak of stomach illness caused by the Cryptosporidium parasite in November 2010.

It took several months before the water supplies were declared drinkable again.

”There will be a person over here to help us. Their experience is very valuable to us," said Kristina Sundin Jonsson at the municipality.


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