Investigation underway after 57 swimmers fall sick and get diarrhoea in triathlon race

Investigation underway after 57 swimmers fall sick and get diarrhoea in triathlon race

57 swimmers have become sick after completing a triathlon in Sunderland.

It happened during the World Triathlon Championship Series, with about 2000 athletes competing in the intense race.

Despite being in peak physical fitness though, many reported feeling sick and getting diarrhoea – leading to an investigation by local authorities.

The waters around the area had large amount of Ecoli. Credit: Getty/Geraint Rowland Photography
The waters around the area had large amount of Ecoli. Credit: Getty/Geraint Rowland Photography

After the waters around Roker beach were tested by the Environment Agency, it found an alarming amount of Ecoli in the water.

It’s unclear what caused this, however, British Triathlon said it is now working close with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to uncover why the pathogens were in the water.

The UKHSA said: “UKHSA is working with British Triathlon to encourage anyone who participated and has or had symptoms after the event to contact the organisers who will then pass details onto the UKHSA North East Protection team. The team will undertake an investigation of cases.”

British Triathlon are now investigating the incident. Credit: Getty/George Wood
British Triathlon are now investigating the incident. Credit: Getty/George Wood

The government has also issued a warning about the risks of open swimming.

It read: “Open water swimming can increase the risk of gastrointestinal illnesses, or stomach bugs, which may cause diarrhoea and/or vomiting, as well as respiratory, skin, ear and eye infections.

“Most symptoms of these illnesses caused by micro-organisms such as norovirus, giardia and cryptosporidium, will generally be mild.

“However, there is also a risk of more severe infections caused by micro-organisms such as E.coli O157 which may cause severe gastrointestinal illness and leptospirosis (Weil’s disease), which can cause liver and kidney problems.”

It adds: “If you do become unwell with diarrhoea or any other symptoms, seek medical help and let them know you have been open water swimming. Do not swim again until you have had no diarrhoeal symptoms for at least 48 hours, or for a longer period if advised by a doctor.”

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