Cooling off in the nearest river during the summer could mean risking serious infection, injury or death according to the Health Protection and Environment agencies. Following the drowning of an Oxford schoolboy in the River Cherwell in June, swimmers are being urged to stay away from the countys rivers and lakes. Apart from the risk of drowning, a variety of infections can be picked up from river water including gastroenteritis, beaver fever or Giardia Lamblia, and infections spread by rodents including the deadly Weils Disease, which is contracted through exposure to rats urine through open cuts or grazes. British Waterways, which controls the Oxford Canal, has launched a safety campaign called SAFE (Stay Away From the Edge), aimed at preventing canal-side accidents.
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