Galwayâs drinking water, supposedly, has been compromised by Cryptosporidiosis.
Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by a parasite, a Scheduled biological agent under the Infectious Diseases (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations (S.I. No. 707 of 2003) and Safety, Health And Welfare At Work (Biological Agents) (Amendment) Regulations, 1998 (S.I. No. 248/1998).
It shares this status with, inter alia, Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus, in its evolved form of âMethicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureusâ? is known as MRSA.
The Cryptosporidiosis cases are said to be clustered near the town of Tuam, whose water supply is perceived to be overstretched due to âpopulation growthâ? ie, overdevelopment. Or, the water supply is inadequate for the permitted development.
Under the Infectious Diseases (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations medical practitioners and others are obliged to notify the local medical officer of any unusual clusters or changing patterns of any illness. The medical officer in turn notifies the National Disease Surveillance Centre.
Registrars of births and deaths are obliged to send to the medical officer returns of deaths from infectious diseases. These are then notified to the National Disease Surveillance Centre.
Under the Safety, Health And Welfare At Work (Biological Agents) (Amendment) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No. 146 of 1994) (as amended by S.I. No. 248/1998), the Health and Safety Authority may request employers to produce the assessment made by them to protect their employees from Scheduled biological agents.
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Cryptosporidiosis are, each, such an agent. The obligations on employers imposed by the 1994 Regulations extend to the protection of self-employed persons at the employerâs workplace.
In the case of Cryptosporidiosis the role for the Health and Safety Authority is to make inquiries of Galway City Council and Galway County Council as to the assessments made by them relating to the parasite, and in the case of MRSA ,to make inquiries of each and every hospital in the State as to the assessments made by them to protect their employees and self employed persons, from Scheduled biological agents, specifically, MRSA.