**Pond Dipping Warning**

I have just been searching the internet for a large pond dipping net, on my travels I came across these warnings which I had never heard of before and thought I would pass the info on.

Warning on river, canal, reservoir danger zones
Two warnings were given by River and Health Authorities during the summer of 1994. The first is of the rat bug danger, causing Weils Disease, which is spread by harmful bacteria in rat urine, found not only in sewers but also in many still waters. It can enter the body through open cuts and abrasions and, a warning to young people who take a dip in rivers and mill ponds during hot weather, through the eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Symptoms are said to be like a dose of mild ’flu which usually clears up after two or three weeks, but the disease is dangerous and in extreme cases can cause kidney or liver failure leading to death. So when fishing or pond dipping cover any cuts or abrasions on the hands with a waterproof plaster and wash your hands before handling food. Do not forget, of course, that these same precautions also apply when handling the pond water back home.

The second warning is against touching or brushing against the dangerous giant hogweed plant often found growing up to nine feet tall on river and canal banks. It is a beautiful plant brought over from Russia to London’s Kew Gardens a hundred years ago but which has since spread around the country. Touching it with bare hands or even through thin clothing such as a shirt or blouse can cause severe dermatitis, skin inflammation which usually develops within 24 hours, and sometimes painful blisters. The condition is made worse if the affected part is exposed to sunlight. In severe causes a condition like a chemical burn may arise which will leave permanent brown patches after healing. The National Rivers Authority is carrying out a five year spraying programme in an endeavour to eradicate the dangerous plant. Eating any of the plant can result in severe damage to the lips and mouth

Extract on Pond Dipping
by Roy Winsby

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