6 de jul. de 2012

Calpe's 4 *hotel Diamante Beach Hotel has been closed in second Legionnaires' outbreak this year

05 July 2012 @ 20:55

CALPE’S FOUR-STAR Hotel Diamante Beach was closed on Monday after a second outbreak of Legionnaires’’ Disease this year.

Eleven people have so far been infected with the virulent and potentially fatal form of pneumonia – although health chiefs acknowledge the figure could rise.

Five months ago three British pensioners died after contracting the disease at the hotel and another 15 people were taken ill and treated with antibiotics.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Valencia’s Director of Public Health Manuel Escolano and Calpe Mayor Cesar Sanchez said all those infected with the Legionella bacteria had been hospitalised but none was thought to be “gravely ill”.

The hotel was closed as a precaution and 500 guests moved to alternative accommodation. The source of the outbreak has yet to be confirmed.

And yesterday (Thursday) it was revealed the number infected had risen to 11 – four Belgians, three of them taken ill after returning home, four people from Madrid and three from the Valencian Community. Four, including a Belgian, are being treated Valencia hospitals and making satisfactory progress.

It was believed new outbreak occurred in the third week of June and former guests have been contacted and warned to look out for ‘flu-type symptoms. The first diagnosis was made on 25th June and the Europe-wide notification procedure sprung into action.


Mr Escolano admitted the outbreak came as a “complete surprise” after the Diamante Beach was given the all clear in February following deep and intense cleaning of the water system and “thousands” of tests had been undertaken since the hotel opened again.

“We do expect more cases but it is contained to people staying or working in the hotel. The public has to realise it will not spread in the town because the source is somewhere in the hotel.

“Control that has been taken over all the running water system and it cannot find the presence of Legionella, so we cannot explain the source of the outbreak.”

Mayor Cesar Sanchez pledged the hotel industry in the town would cooperate fully with the health department and said the hotel management had closed the Diamante Beach on its own initiative, alerting guests to the disease and indicating the problem could be with the spa.

However, he admitted the second outbreak “was a blow to the tourism sector of Calpe which makes up 90% of the economy.”

Legionnaires’’ Disease is contracted by breathing in tiny particles of contaminated water; it cannot be passed on human to human. The bug is found in all water but in certain conditions begins to multiply to dangerous levels.

The disease is particularly dangerous to the elderly and to people with low immunity systems. The disease acquired its name in 1976 when an outbreak occurred at a hotel in the United States when members of a convention of the American Legion were infected.

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