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People told to boil tap water in part of Devon after cryptosporidium detected

People living in part of Devon have been advised to boil tap water before drinking it after the presence of cryptosporidium was confirmed. The warning has been issued by South West Water (SWW) and affects people living in the Alston and Hillhead areas of Brixham.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite which can cause sickness and diarrhoea and an outbreak has been confirmed in the coastal town. It comes after testing carried out by South West Water (SWW) confirmed it had detected 'small traces' of the organism in the water supply in the area.

SWW is now investigating the cause and said data shows treated water leaving its treatment works was not contaminated. However, tests taken overnight in the Hillhead section of its network have found small traces of cryptosporidium.

READ MORE: Cryptosporidiosis symptoms as 'hundreds' fall ill in UK town

The UK Health Security Agency confirmed there have been 16 cases of the infection. There are also around 70 reported cases of diarrhoea and vomiting in Brixham, with more cases reported on social media.

A South West Water spokesperson said: "Customers in Alston and the Hillhead area of Brixham are advised to boil their drinking water before consuming following new test results for cryptosporidium. We are issuing this notice following small traces of the organism identified overnight and this morning.

"We are working with the UK Health Security Agency and other public health partners to urgently investigate and eliminate the source. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated. Bottled water stations will be set up in the affected areas as soon as possible."

The UKHAS confirmed yesterday that it is working with Torbay Council, South