Health & Hygiene

The quality of water in the River Wye is generally good, but unlike tap water it is untreated and contains natural bacteria and other micro-organisms. Although the risk of contracting an illness is small, there are sensible precautions which those involved in water sports can take to stay healthy. Health and Hygiene Guidelines
Do not swallow river water.
Cover any cuts or sores with gloves or waterproof plasters.
Where possible, wash or shower after taking part in water sports, especially if you have capsized.
Wash your hands before eating.
See your doctor if you feel ill after having taken part in water sports, particularly if you experience flu-like symptoms.
For detailed advice on the health aspects of rivers, contact your local Council’s Environmental Health Officer. Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease) Leptospira bacteria is often carried by rats and excreted in their urine thus contaminating water and muddy soil. The bacteria can enter the human body through cuts, grazes, mouth or mucous membranes such as those which line the nose and ears. The symptoms are similar to those of influenza – temperature, muscle aches and nausea. Most people with leptospirosis (fewer than 50 cases each year) don’t go on to develop the more serious Weil’s Disease. However, the earlier leptospirosis is treated the better, so consult your doctor if you feel ill after coming into contact with water anywhere near or in the river. Following the precautions already given will greatly minimise any possible risk.