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Author Topic: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???  (Read 11387 times)

Dowser

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Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« on: September 20, 2013 »

Hello,

With the weather looking rather fine for tomorrow I'm hoping to get the Canadian out for a paddle along the Lagan with the three kids.  It will be my first paddle on the Lagan but I have heard stories of the Lagan being a high risk area for Weil's Disease and one of our members did contract it there a couple of years back resulting in many weeks in hospital  :(

Is there a greater risk in the Lagan, than other rivers?  I would hate to be putting the kids at any risk!

From what I've heard Weil's Disease can be fairly nasty.  There's plenty of info about it here: 

http://www.rospa.com/leisuresafety/adviceandinformation/watersafety/weils-disease.aspx
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t18con

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013 »

watched myth busters the other night where they were experimenting with weils disease from the top of a coke tin. they brought in experts at the end who said it was impossible to catch orally (the stomach acids are far too strong for the disease). it can only be caught through an open wound. wear thin gloves if you really want to be careful.
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Fred

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013 »

Hi there
I occasionally paddle in the lagan and I consider it to be very dirty. I never consume food on outings and always wash myself and gear thoroughly afterwards.
There is so much sewage and other dirt in the water that something will get you if you aren't careful. By all means paddle in the lagan but be sensible.

Fred
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Rusty Madra

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013 »

I was speaking to a friend about this who's in the Lagan Search and Rescue. The main thrust of his argument was thus:

There's potential for Well's disease and the like from the Lagan yeah (plus other diseases)
However once we're aware of this we adapt our contact with the water and don't go for things like splashing about and jumping in.

One of the points he made was that in something like a Canadian Canoe you won't actually have much contact with the water. It's different if you're doing Escimo rolls in a Canoe but in a big Canadian I'd say actual contact with the water is minimal.

Case in point: the rowers you see constantly on the Lagan. Never hear of any of them going down with the disease and their contact with the water is very limited.

I'd say go for it: just don't jump in or let the kids splash about too much.
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GMB

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013 »

You won't have anything to worry about. Reported cases of Weil's diesease from the Lagan are very rare (I'm talking the stretch between Stranmillis Wier down to Lagan Wier) and when they do happen are taken very seriously and thoroughly investigated. I wasn't aware that there was a reported and confirmed case a few years ago.

Surface watersports on the Lagan are safe (as far as Weil's diesease goes) and raw sewage won't be evacuated into the river nowadays after the completion of the recent Belfast Sewer and Stormwater Project.

A bit of common sense like Rusty & others have suggested regarding keeping cuts, wounds and that dry and no drinking it  ;D

I work in the Lagan regularly and use wet protective equipment and I have never as so much had a sniffle.
You'll be fine  :)
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mrdosu

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014 »

Having caught a couple of the diseases you can get from water (personally nastiest being giardia) I can only recommend to go to a Hospital for Tropical Medicine after you get any sort of fever, headache or diarrhea after visiting the outdoors. Sidenote: 100% of the time I contracted it after ruining my immune system with copious amounts of whiskey the day before.

They do the proper tests and you get the proper antibiotics instantly. A normal doctor/hospital will easily miss most of them and give you the wrong treatment. If its treated early all of it is no worse then the flu.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014 by mrdosu »
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polroger

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2014 »

Fair point. I'm just over a bout of Lyme disease. My gp had the good sense to contact them straight off and I have no doubt this reduced recovery time ;D
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whoRya

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014 »

Fair point. I'm just over a bout of Lyme disease. My gp had the good sense to contact them straight off and I have no doubt this reduced recovery time ;D

Do you reckon it was from a tick bite?  I seem to be a magnet for them but thankfully I haven't shown any signs of Lymne's.
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polroger

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014 »

Unfortunately I did not see the offending insect but weighing up all the evidence - tick would be the prime suspect
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Dowser

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014 »

I see that there has been a few comments posted recently in this thread and I don't think I ever got around to posting a few photos.

Fortunately, Weil's disease didn't cause any issues and we had a crackin' day out on the water.  We launched from Minnowburn carpark and paddled from there up to a brown wooden foot bridge which I believe is called Gilchrists Bridge, the location of which can be seen on page 41 of this booklet put together by the Lagan Canal Trust:

http://www.lagancanaltrust.org/pdf/walkingguide.pdf

When we got to Gilchrists Bridge we put ashore and met up with my parents for a spot of lunch before paddling back to Minnowburn.























 8)



 
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014 by Dowser »
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RedLeader

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Re: Paddling the Lagan - Weil's Disease Risk???
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2014 »

Flip, that canoe hasn't half changed since back then.
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