Dozen Australian swimmers take ill at Commonwealth Games

October 7th, 2010 - 2:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Oct 7 (IANS) Over a dozen Australian swimmers have fallen sick, and two of them have pulled out of their events Thursday. An official said the illness “seems quite isolated to the swim team at the moment”.

Three Australians, including Andrew Lauterstein and Hayden Stoeckel who pulled out Thursday, are suffering from gastroenteritis. At least 10 other swimmers are down with a milder form of Delhi belly, AAP reported.

Commonwealth Games Federation president Mike Fennell said: “If there is something unsafe, then you can’t swim in that water.”

“It’s a matter we have to deal with, with a great deal of urgency,” the Australian Associated Press quoted him as saying.

Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti was concerned by the number of swimmers falling sick.

One other Australian athlete has been hit by gastroenteritis, and at least five team members from other sports were ill, he said.

“There seems to be a larger number of swimmers. It seems quite isolated to the swim team at the moment.

“The doctor doesn’t think it’s food related because it’s more confined to one particular sport. We’re all eating in the dining hall, we’re all eating the same food and there’s very few cases across the board, it seems like there’s more cases in the one sport,” Moneghetti said.

He said it was possible the pool or its facilities could be making the swimmers sick.

“I would only be speculating but at this point in time it’s where the swimmers have come from or what the swimmers are doing.

“I don’t want to jump to conclusions because we have no medical evidence as to why this is happening,” Moneghetti said.

He said the water quality at the Dr.S.P. Mukerjhee Aquatics Complex has been tested.

“They’ve done tests … and our swimmers wouldn’t go into the water without the tests coming through.”

England team’s spokesperson said over 30 members of their team have been hit by a stomach bug but didn’t say whether it was across a range of sports or isolated to one.

“Around six percent of our team has been hit. It’s a lot lower than expected for this kind of country.

“But we haven’t lost any competition sessions. It’s one of those viral thing that arrives and goes in 24 hours,” the spokesperson told AAP.

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