Outbreak of rat-borne disease leptospirosis in Royal Canal
Waterways Ireland says people should not swim or dive in canal until further notice
about an hour ago
Olivia Kelly Dublin Editor

Waterways Ireland has warned the public to stay out of the Royal Canal in north Dublin following an outbreak of the rat-borne infection leptospirosis, which can be fatal...

...The HSE notified Waterways Ireland of “a number of cases” of leptospirosis following exposure to the water in the Dublin section of the Royal Canal...

“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,” Waterways Ireland said.

While most animals which have contracted leptospirosis have no symptoms, up to one in 10 infected dogs die from the disease. Dog owners are advised to rinse their animals in clean water to reduce the risk of infection if they have been swimming in the canal.

Leptospirosis is most common in tropical areas of the world. However, it is becoming increasingly widespread in urban areas that have low levels of sanitation. It is rare in Ireland with fewer than 20 cases reported most years...