Tag Archives: Ireland

Economic Assessment of Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak, Ireland

Chyzheuskaya A, Srivinas R, O’Donovan D, Prendergast M, O’Donoghue C, Morris D. Economic Assessment of Waterborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis. Emerging infectious diseases. 2017 Oct;23(10):1650-1656. doi: 10.3201/eid2310.152037.

In 2007, a waterborne outbreak of Cryptosporidium hominis infection occurred in western Ireland, resulting in 242 laboratory-confirmed cases and an uncertain number of unconfirmed cases. A boil water notice was in place for 158 days that affected 120,432 persons residing in the area, businesses, visitors, and commuters. This outbreak represented the largest outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Ireland. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost of this outbreak. We adopted a societal perspective in estimating costs associated with the outbreak. Economic cost estimated was based on totaling direct and indirect costs incurred by public and private agencies. The cost of the outbreak was estimated based on 2007 figures. We estimate that the cost of the outbreak was >€19 million (≈€120,000/day of the outbreak). The US dollar equivalent based on today’s exchange rates would be $22.44 million (≈$142,000/day of the outbreak). This study highlights the economic need for a safe drinking water supply.

Investigating a Waterborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis; Ireland

Mahon M, Doyle S. Waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in the South East of Ireland: weighing up the evidence. Ir J Med Sci. 2017 Jan 13. doi: 10.1007/s11845-016-1552-1.

BACKGROUND: In late Spring 2012, 12 cases of cryptosporidiosis in a town in the South East of Ireland were notified to the regional Department of Public Health.

AIM: The purpose of this paper is to describe the outbreak and the investigative process which led to the conclusion that the source was a public drinking water supply.

METHODS: Outbreak and incident control teams were convened to investigate and control the outbreak.

RESULTS: Eleven cases were speciated as Cryptosporidium parvum. GP60 analysis demonstrated that 10 were C. parvum IIaA20G3R1, indicating that the cases were linked. The public water supply was the only common risk factor identified. Increased water sampling identified Cryptosporidium muris/andersoni in the treated water at one of two water treatment plants (Water Treatment Plant, WTP A) for the supply, and on the network. C. parvum was subsequently identified in raw water from WTP A.

CONCLUSIONS: The Health Service Executive (HSE) concluded that this outbreak was “probably associated with water” produced at WTP A based on (1) descriptive epidemiological evidence suggesting water-related illness and excluding other obvious explanations; and (2) water treatment failure at WTP A. WTP A was closed to facilitate an upgrade. No boil water notice was required as a supplementary supply was available. The upgrade was completed and the incident closed in 2013.

Tea Drinking a Significant Source of Fluoride Intake, Ireland

Waugh DT, Potter W, Limeback H, Godfrey M. Risk Assessment of Fluoride Intake from Tea in the Republic of Ireland and its Implications for Public Health and Water Fluoridation. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2016 Feb 26;13(3). pii: E259. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13030259.

The Republic of Ireland (RoI) is the only European Country with a mandatory national legislation requiring artificial fluoridation of drinking water and has the highest per capita consumption of black tea in the world. Tea is a hyperaccumulator of fluoride and chronic fluoride intake is associated with multiple negative health outcomes. In this study, fifty four brands of the commercially available black tea bag products were purchased and the fluoride level in tea infusions tested by an ion-selective electrode method. The fluoride content in all brands tested ranged from 1.6 to 6.1 mg/L, with a mean value of 3.3 mg/L. According to our risk assessment it is evident that the general population in the RoI is at a high risk of chronic fluoride exposure and associated adverse health effects based on established reference values. We conclude that the culture of habitual tea drinking in the RoI indicates that the total cumulative dietary fluoride intake in the general population could readily exceed the levels known to cause chronic fluoride intoxication. Evidence suggests that excessive fluoride intake may be contributing to a wide range of adverse health effects. Therefore from a public health perspective, it would seem prudent and sensible that risk reduction measures be implemented to reduce the total body burden of fluoride in the population.

Osteosarcoma and fluoride exposure in Northern Ireland

 Osteosarcoma is a relatively rare cancer, and the relative risk estimate confidence intervals are wide……such that this study cannot rule out an association between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma.

Harry Comber, Sandra Deady, Erin Montgomery, Anna Gavin. Drinking water fluoridation and osteosarcoma incidence on the island of Ireland. Cancer Causes & Control, June 2011, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 919-924.

The incidence of osteosarcoma in Northern Ireland was compared with that in the Republic of Ireland to establish if differences in incidence between the two regions could be related to their different drinking water fluoridation policies. Data from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) and the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) on osteosarcoma incidence in the respective populations were used to estimate the age-standardised and age-specific incidence rates in areas with and without drinking water fluoridation. One hundred and eighty-three osteosarcoma cases were recorded on the island of Ireland between 1994 and 2006. No significant differences were observed between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas in either age-specific or age-standardised incidence rates of osteosarcoma. The results of this study do not support the hypothesis that osteosarcoma incidence in the island of Ireland is significantly related to public water fluoridation. However, this conclusion must be qualified, in view of the relative rarity of the cancer and the correspondingly wide confidence intervals of the relative risk estimates.