People are falling ill because there's a parasite in the water in Bristol
The parasite- cryptosporidium- can cause vomiting and diarrhoea that can last almost a month

A vomit and diarrhoea inducing parasite has been found in tap water in Bristol. 

The cryptosporidium was discovered during a routine water test.

The parasite can infect a person’s bowels and cause cryptosporidiosis, an illness which main symptom is diarrhoea, which can range from mild to severe.

It is often accompanied by stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, fever,dehydration and weight loss.

It protected by a round outer shell which allows it to survive outside a body for long periods of time and it is very tolerant to chlorine, making it difficult to get rid of.

People are falling ill because there's a parasite in the water in Bristol
(Picture: Getty Images)

Those under the age of 5 are at most risk of infection, but anyone with a weakened immune system is also susceptible to the sickness.

If infected, healthy people could expect to be ill for up to three weeks but not need any treatment but in those with a weak immune system it could potentially develop into a life threatening illness.

People living in Clevedon have been told by Bristol Water to boil their tap water before drinking it since the parasite was discovered.

The water alert will remain in place over the weekend while experts carry out vital tests to ensure the water is safe to drink and a number of schools have been forced to close to make sure none of the children consume the bug.

People are falling ill because there's a parasite in the water in Bristol
(Picture: Getty Images)

A Bristol Water spokesperson said: ‘Our staff are out going door to door in the affected area again today.

‘We are concentrating on flushing the systems and sampling the water.

‘We need to take several samples so we can be 100 per cent sure the water is safe to drink without boiling before we can lift the notice.

‘Customers should still plan for this notice being in place for a couple of days.’