§ Mr. Gareth Wardell
asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he is aware of any studies on the role and fate of human pathogens, especially viruses in the marine environment, around the Welsh coast; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
There have been many studies of the distribution and survival of micro-organisms in Welsh coastal waters.
In 1979 the report of a symposium on Swansea bay included a small study of the occurrence and survival of viruses made earlier by Dr. J. M. Tyler. A more detailed study of viruses in Welsh coastal waters was made by Dr. Tyler in 1980 to 1982 as part of a larger study of the survival of viruses in the water cycle. This study was funded jointly by the Welsh Office and the Welsh water authority and a report on it was published in 1982. The report confirmed the widespread occurrence of enteroviruses that knowledge of the water cycle predicted, and went some way to quantifying it.
In addition, the Welsh water authority, in collaboration with the local authorities and the Public Health Laboratory service, regularly monitors the occurrence of salmonella bacteria in Swansea bay.