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Displaying items by tag: Leptospirosis

Waterways Ireland have been notified by the HSE of a number of cases of Leptospirosis reported recently following exposure to the water on the Royal Canal in North Dublin.

Individuals are instructed not to engage in swimming, diving or immersive activity such as deliberate capsizing in the waterway pending further advisory.

Any facilities/activity providers are also requested to ensure, to the best of their ability, that clients do not engage in the same activities.

The HSE further advises all individuals partaking in watersport (and in turn for activity providers to advise their clients) of the risk, which is small but real, of acquiring Leptospirosis from water-based activities.

Persons with symptoms (a flu-like illness) within a three-week period after engaging in a water-based activity should seek medical attention immediately, mentioning any watercourse exposure.

Further information on Leptospirosis is available from the HSE website. Other enquiries can be directed to [email protected] or by contacting the Waterways Ireland Communications Office on 071-9650787.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection frequently found both in domestic and wild animals, which can spread to humans. Leptospirosis in Ireland is usually picked up from rats. The infection is spread through contact with rats, or rat urine generally.

Leptospirosis is a recreational hazard for those who participate in outdoor sports in contaminated areas and has been associated with water sports.

Occupations at risk would include veterinary surgeons, farmers, meat inspectors, butchers, abattoir and sewer workers.

High-risk water includes stagnant, dirty-looking or obviously polluted fresh water found in ditches, drains, ponds, lakes or rivers. Sea water poses less risk.

What precautions should I take?

  • Do not go swimming or boating in water which is known to be or obviously polluted.
  • Cover any cuts or abrasions with a waterproof dressing while swimming or canoeing.
  • Shower thoroughly as soon as possible following water activities.
  • Make sure the sporting clothing you wear minimises your contact with water.
  • Wash your hands after water activity, handling any animal or contaminated clothing and always before eating, drinking or smoking.
  • Clean any cuts acquired during swimming, fishing or other near-water activities. Apply first aid as soon as possible.
    Rinsing dogs who have been swimming in high risk water reduces the risk of infection.
  • High-risk workers should always wear their personal protective equipment and clothing at all times when in high risk situations.
  • If you get a flu-like illness within a three-week period after engaging in any of these activities you should visit your doctor immediately, and tell her or him of your concerns and possible exposure to dirty or stagnant water.
Published in Inland Waterways

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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