From RTE News, 28 March 2007:

Tests carried out in laboratories in Wales have also established that the strain of cryptosporidium parasite which has been found in water reservoirs and treatment plants can be transmitted from human to human.

The Health Service Executive says the situation remains a very serious one and it is of the utmost importance that all water is boiled before use. Experts have told RTÉ News it could be up to six months before tap water is safe to drink in parts of Galway affected by pollution.

Up to 90,000 householders and businesses are affected, and today the number of cases of the cryptosporidium illness in the country rose to 125.

And now let’s compare..

“Did you go down to the beach?”

“Who’d want to?”

“Exactly. Who’d want to? Masochists with a yen for pharyngitis and bowel upsets! Who goes swimming anymore except in a private pool? It isn’t safe. Hell, I know girls who won’t wash their faces except with bottled water, in case it runs into their mouths.”

The Sheep Look Up, John Brunner, p130 (first publ. 1972).

Brunner’s (science fiction) book is about the collapse of American civilisation… (You know what I mean..) Link to the RTE stuff from John Naughton’s Memex.

Part of the plot of Brunner’s book assumes that bees have become extinct in the US. I think it was science fiction.. this is also the writer, by the way, who wrote a book including the internet some years before it had been invented. Scary.