BBC News Report ‘I’ve fallen ill five times after surfing at sea’

A recent online BBC News report has highlighted the incidence of sickness after sea and river swimming in areas polluted by sewage discharges. The sea is naturally full of different types of bacteria, but also bacteria and chemicals from anthropogenic sources that should not be there. Read the full article here

James Ebdon, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Brighton, says the presence of “faecal indicator” bacteria – E. coil and enterococci – shows that there is an “increased likelihood that pathogens are also likely to be present”.

When it comes to answering what was making people sick, he said he “can’t see many other causes” other than contamination with human waste.

He believes illness linked to contaminated water has been “hugely under-reported”.

BBC News Online

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