Water poisoning in western Norway could cost companies 1.5 mln USD: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-14 19:53:07|Editor: Li Xia
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OSLO, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Drinking water poisoning of around 2,000 people in western Norway may have cost local businesses 13 million kroner (1.5 million U.S. dollars), local media reported Friday.

A total of 65 people have been admitted to hospital and several thousand are probably ill at home after a holding tank for drinking water in Askoy municipality in western Norway was found to have been contaminated by the E.coli bacteria last week, public broadcaster NRK said.

On Saturday, two new bacteria were detected in addition to E.coli in the drinking water.

The Askoy municipality said over 2,000 people have been ill.

According to the research institute SINTEF, a week's sick leave costs the companies 13,000 kroner in lost production and increased costs.

Taking into account that average sick leave daily costs 2,600 kroner, and with 2,000 people suffering from the poisoning, newspaper Bergensavisen (BA) calculated the total loss of up to 13 million kroner.

"I think many will be surprised when they hear these numbers, but the calculation from BA sounds right. The employer must cover the costs of illness for the first 16 days," Helga B. Torgersen, head of the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) at Askoy, told news agency NTB.

Helena Niemi Eide at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) said that Campylobacter bacteria, which have made people sick, usually give a self-limiting infection that lasts about a week.