River Otter in vomiting virus alert

People have been warned to stay away from a Devon river after a number of children playing in it suffered severe vomiting.

Warning signs have been put up by environmental health officers on the River Otter at Budleigh Salterton.

Tests have shown the children were infected with norovirus, a highly infectious form of gastroenteritis.

East Devon District Council said it was "likely the source was contaminated river water".

A council spokesman said: "This has been a particularly difficult summer for maintaining good water quality and the rivers have been flooded several times.

"Flood waters take run-off from fields as well as excess water from the drainage system, and may take some time to clear."

Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and stomach cramps, usually takes 24 to 48 hours for symptoms to appear and may last for 12 to 60 hours.

It is believed people who have been infected may continue to be contagious for up to two weeks even after symptoms have faded.

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