Groundwater surprise in latest crypto outbreak

The outbreak of the stomach bug cryptosporidiosis in Hertfordshire and north London looks set to force a reappraisal of the prevailing view that groundwater supplies are not at risk of contamination by the organism responsible. More than 250 people were affected by the disease and 300,000 households were warned to boil drinking water after cryptosporidium oocysts were found in water from deep boreholes which appears to have been contaminated during a period of record low groundwater levels. The outbreak has prompted the Government to reconvene an expert group on cryptosporidium in water supplies which was disbanded in 1995.

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