PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli – UK: (TW) triathlon, sewage


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 7 Aug 2023
Source: Brobible [edited]

There aren’t many competitions out there that test your endurance like
a triathlon, which typically requires you to complete a half-mile [0.8
km] swim before riding 20 km [12.4 mi] on a bike and capping things
off with a 5 km [3.1 mi] run to the finish line.

There are some brave souls out there who opt to up the difficulty
level in the form of the grueling Ironman events that force you to
swim, bike, and run more than 140 miles [225 km] when everything is
said and done, but most triathletes are perfectly content with
sticking with the original formula.

That includes the approximately 2000 competitors who headed to the
coast of England at the end of July [2023] for the leg of the World
Triathlon Championship Series that was held in Sunderland, but dozens
of them ended up dealing with some unenviable issues in the wake of
the event thanks to what they were subjected to after plunging into
the waters off Roker Beach.

According to The Guardian, environmental officials conducted tests in
the lead-up to the event that detected abnormally high levels of E.
bacteria in the area that appear to be linked to a nearby output
known for depositing large quantities of raw sewage into the ocean.

However, the organizers of the triathlon say they weren’t informed of
those findings and didn’t notice any anomalies when they tested the
water before the event kicked off on 29 Jul 2023.

Unfortunately, there were still at least 57 people who were treated
for diarrhea and other symptoms consistent with an E. coli infection
after completing the race, and a number of competitors who were
impacted understandably asserted the swimming portion should’ve been
canceled based on what they were ultimately subjected to.

The United Kingdom Health Security Agency said it will be conducting
an investigation in an attempt to determine the cause of what they
described as “unprecedented” levels of E. coli in the water,
although it’s hard to imagine any findings will make the people who
were impacted feel much better about what transpired.

[Byline: Connor Toole]

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