3 de fev. de 2012

Three Britons die in legionnaires outbreak at Spanish resort

Three British holidaymakers have died in an outbreak of legionnaires disease at a hotel in the Spanish resort of Calpe.
The three unnamed Britons, were among more than 20 people to have contracted the disease at the Diamante Beach hotel.
The deaths were confirmed over the last 24 hours, almost three weeks after Saga holidays was first informed of the outbreak at the four-star spa and convention centre.
The regional government of Valencia confirmed on Friday that the first death had been on 26 January and another had come five days later. The latest death happened at the Clinica Benidorm hospital on Thursday.
"The three dead were British," a spokesman said. A further 14 other people, ten of them British, were being treated for the disease.
Confusion surrounded the date on which the legionella outbreak had been confirmed, with Saga saying it was first told about it on 14 January.
The regional health department, however, said a preliminary test had failed to locate the bacterium that causes the disease. It did not publicly inform of the outbreak, which was confirmed by a second test, until Friday.
Authorities ordered the disinfection of the hotel's water system, but said Diamante Beach had not broken maintenance rules.
Saga said a further three people remain in hospital in Spain. Five other people who recently stayed at the Diamante Beach had been treated in hospital in the UK though all but one have been discharged.
"It was reported to us on Saturday 14 January that a customer who had stayed at the Diamante Beach hotel in Spain was being treated for pneumonia caused by legionella," a Saga spokesman said.
"When that happened we immediately sent out a scientific expert to Spain and informed our guests there and offered to move them to a different hotel.
"We also contacted people who had stayed at the hotel in the previous month telling them to contact their doctor if they were experiencing flu-like symptoms."
Health authorities said the hotel had now been temporarily closed. "With the closure we have a guarantee that there will be no more contagion and we can then evaluate the measures taken with the rigour required by the situation."
A spokesman for the hotel said it expected to reopen on Monday.
Saga said the company eventually moved all clients to a new hotel after their expert conducted tests on water samples.
A holidaymaker who died in his hotel room on 31 January had not said he was feeling sick and Saga had not originally known the cause of death, the spokesman said.
"This is clearly a very upsetting time for families and staff. We have sent extra people to Spain to support them in any way we can," the spokesman added.
Saga will be offering compensation to the holidaymakers who contracted the bacterium and has suspended sending clients to the hotel.
"We have done an inspection of the plumbing and made some recommendations to reduce possibilities of a further outbreak and they will need to make changes before we consider using it again."
The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to those affected by the outbreak and their families.
Legionnaires' disease is caused by a bacterium usually found in standing water and can be contracted by breathing contaminated air.
Older people as well as those with weak immune systems or lung problems are most susceptible.

Nenhum comentário: