Baby hospitalised after being exposed to parasite amid boil-water notice
A baby girl spent four nights in hospital after she was exposed to the microscopic parasite, cryptosporidium.
Campaigner Kellie Cadman, from the lobby group Lough Talt Water Warriors in Co Sligo, said she was given permission by the baby's family to highlight the case to ensure people in the catchment area are aware that it is crucial to continue to heed a boil-water notice.
According to Irish Water, more than 12,500 of its customers in the towns of Tubbercurry and Ballymote, and in a large rural hinterland, continue to be affected by a boil-water notice which has been in place for 13 of the past 16 months.
Ms Cadman said the 22-month-old baby was discharged on Sunday night from Sligo University Hospital but she remains ill. She said there were other cases where people had become ill after being exposed to cryptosporidium.
"I know of one lady whose elderly husband has leg ulcers and she was bathing them, using the water, not realising how dangerous this could be," she said. Sligo County Council has granted planning permission for the upgrade of a treatment plant at Lough Talt.
"Works on this essential upgrade can now be scheduled to commence in the coming months with a completion date expected in 2020," said a spokesperson for Irish Water.
But campaigners say that in the interim a mobile treatment unit should be provided.
Irish Water said it was a priority to deliver a solution that would enable the boil-water notice to be lifted as soon as possible.