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E-coli In The Water.


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Let me add a little clarity to my post last night.


It started about 8pm when my wife said "We better not go on the beach as they have found ecoli in the water".


This struck me as strange for a couple of reasons but primarily due to the fact that we haven't been on Douglas beach in I'd guess 5 years and it was not likely that we would have gone between now and next may (at the very earliest)


It is October people - what temperature do you think the water is ? How many people are going to go swimming in Douglas Bay in october ??


If we were in the med then we may have something to worry about with keeping tourists out of the water. But Douglas Bay ?


Basically we have a Dept of Public Health with nothing to do as lets face it we are a million times less likely to die of cholera these days. You guys all want to know what your tax and NI go on so if they didn't issue warnings then you'd complain that they weren't doing anything. Kind of a catch 22.


And then we have the media which requires sensational stories to feed your paranioa. So we get "Killer bug in Douglas Bay"...


You have not been given sufficient information to react to it as you don't know the strain of bacteria and how deadly it isn't. You don't know how long the bacteria will remain alive and lets face it YOU WEREN'T LIKELY TO BE SWIMMING IN DOUGLAS BAY IN THE FIRST PLACE.


So you might as well worry about the amount of salt in the sea ....

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Might not swim in it, but I go there twice a day with my dog, he swims in it, I pick up stones out of the water to throw them for him, I sit on the sand, look under rocks etc etc, basically, if there are nasties in the water they're on the sand, pebbles and steps too, and all over many people's dog!


I'd like this to be sorted out quickly, yes there are other undesirables in Douglas Bay too, but one thing at a time eh?


Also people kayak there year round, there was a waterskiier on friday, people jet ski etc - so they will be in direct contact (and swimming!) in Douglas Bay. Surfers often go in no matter the weather too, as do divers.


There was a seal in the bay on thursday - anyone see it? Right close to shore. It's gotta be about ten years or more since I last saw a seal in Douglas bay, see em often in Peel, but not Doolish.

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It is October people - what temperature do you think the water is ? How many people are going to go swimming in Douglas Bay in october ??


Surfers often go in no matter the weather too, as do divers.


I'm usually in the sea 3/4 times a week. All year round. This really concerns me, I nearly went out kitesurfing in Douglas the other night. I always thought from the beginning this 'whey' disposal into Douglas bay was a bad idea.


Haven't seen any seals in Douglas Bay for years Alex, but have seen loads off Ballaugh coast recently, playing in the surf.

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I've got new for everyone. It's already on your skin, and in your intestines, and all around you normally anyway. It's only certain strands of E. coli that makes you ill - 0157:H7.


This just isn't true. Several strains of E. Coli other that 0157:H7 produce toxins that can cause kidney faliure:


0127:H6 and 044:H18, for instance, are both enteropathogenic strains of E. Coli, meaning that they can cause disease, which in those cases have been known to be fatal, especially amongst young children.


Regardless of this, all strains of E. Coli are capable of causing non-fatal illness and infection given the right circumstances.


It should be obvious that just because something happily lives in the intestinal tract does not mean that it's therefore safe to ingest or get in an open wound or sore.


Apart from anything else, abnormally high levels of E. Coli in the water is usually a good indication of fecal contamination, which isn't exactly super fun to swim through.

Edited by VinnieK
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Wouldn't it be nice if someone in authority (such as the Environmental Health people) could just tell us whether there is a problem and, if there is, what are the risks and what reasonable steps we should take to protect ourselves, our kids and our pets? Too much to ask?

Edited by glad to be back
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The man in charge of food safety for the government says tests have shown whey discharges from the creamery at Tromode have only minute levels of e-coli bacteria - well within any safety levels.


Ivan Bratty, the food safety manager at the Department of the Environment, was speaking after claims test results showed a high level of E-Coli bacteria at the whey outfall into Douglas Bay.


Findlay MacLeod, chief executive at the creamery, says the department has acknowledged it used the wrong method to check out the levels.


It was claimed that contamination at the outfall was found at a hundred times the European Community's recommended limit for bathing water.


But the creamery says the procedure carried out was one used for testing water samples and not whey.


Mr Macleod, is insisting whey leaves the creamery at Tromode, a mile and a half from the outfall, free from contamination and that's backed up by Mr Bratty.


However, it's admitted that conditions in a sump, where the whey discharge goes before passing onto tanks, is perfect for e-coli to develop

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Until recent times, raw human excrement would find its way out into the sea in massive quantities. Yes, it made people ill and some people even died from it, which is why today we try not to contaminate our sea. However, because of our lack of exposure to such bacteria we are losing our natural ability to overcome such infections.


I am afraid that it is an unpleasant fact that people will get ill from bacteria and short of making the sea sterile there will always be a risk from disease. Those of us who are not accustomed to swimming in the sea will be most at risk and those who have grown up around the sea will be least likely to suffer from it.


Think about it. Everything from land runs into the sea. All the dirt and excrement from the land. Fertilizers, chemicals, sewage. Then there is rotting fish and birds not to mention their excrement. That is what the sea is all about, that is the way it was designed and the way it needs to be to survive. What is bad for us humans is food to some types of marine life and as long as we do not interfere with the balance of nature things will continue in this way for the rest of time.


If you want to avoid getting ill just keep away from it. It is as simple as that!

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Well spake Paul! I have always been a believer in "you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die" ideaology in that reducing exposure to bacteria reduces the overall immunity. However, I would like to know whether Douglas beach carries a greater than normal (natural) risk with E.coli. It wouldn't be there if the whey wasn't there, so we have already upset the natural balance. As I mentioned earlier, the hype was that whey had a neutral effect ecologically, the whey may have but what it carries may not!

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