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According to a report, hospital admissions for waterborne diseases in England have increased by 60%.

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The Labour Party today released new numbers showing a worrying 60% rise in waterborne disease hospital admissions in England since 2010. Analysis of NHS data shows that the number of admissions for diseases such as dysentery and Weil’s illness has increased sharply, rising from 2,085 in 2010–11 to 3,286 in 2022–23.

The news comes after extraordinary sewage spills that were made public earlier this week caused a great deal of indignation. According to Environmental Agency data, there was an astounding 129% increase in the amount of raw sewage that was dumped into rivers and seas in the last year—more than 3.6 million hours.

Protesters emphasize that higher concentrations of raw sewage in bodies of water increase the danger of diseases since people are more likely to come into contact with bacteria found in human waste. For example, leptospirosis, or Weil’s disease, has doubled in frequency since 2010, with 122 cases recorded in the past year alone. When contracted from contaminated water, leptospirosis can cause serious health problems such kidney and liver failure.

Typhoid fever is another aquatic illness that has shown a sharp increase in cases, from 445 to 603, highlighting the critical need for action.

Steve Reed, the shadow environment minister for Labour, attacked the Conservative government for its passivity on the issue of illicit sewage disposal, which has led to thousands of hospital admissions. In order to address the situation, he vowed that Labour would impose certain measures on water firms, push for stronger laws, and hold those accountable who violate the environment.

The Oxford and Cambridge boat race organizers have released revised safety instructions in response to the concerning trend. They advise competitors not to enter contaminated waters and to take preventative measures including bandaging open wounds. Given the gravity of the situation, the custom of post-race celebration river leaps will be substituted with purification stations.

Experts stress the need for comprehensive change to address the two problems of pollution and environmental deterioration, claiming that billions of dollars might be saved annually by funding environmental rehabilitation and reducing pollution.

Government officials have acknowledged the seriousness of the situation as public outcry grows and have promised strict measures to force water companies to accelerate cleanup efforts and enforce accountability measures, which may include prohibiting executive bonuses in cases of environmental misconduct.

The growing crisis emphasizes how urgently coordinated action is needed to protect the public’s health and restore the integrity of England’s rivers.

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