British Holiday maker Dies of Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires disease case

11.09.2007


A British holidaymaker on a coach trip to Italy organised by Scottish firm Caledonian Travel, has died after contracting legionnaires' disease, the Health Protection Scotland (HPS) said today.

A second holidaymaker on the coach has the condition and a further two potential cases are being investigated.

The holidaymakers all visited Italy as part of a coach tour organised by Caledonian Travel, which is a subsidiary of WA Shearings.

Dr Jim McMenamin a Consultant epidemiologist, who is investigating the outbreak, said: "The travellers have been back in Scotland now for 10 days and if they were going to develop symptoms, it is very likely they would have done so by now as 10 days is the upper limit of the incubation period for this infection."

Legionnaires' disease is caused by the bacterium legionella pneumophila which can be found in water systems such as showers and spas.

Clive Garner, Head of Travel Law at Irwin Mitchell, who has acted for many victims of Legionnaires disease across the world said today, Legionnaires disease is obviously a very serious condition and for many victims, as in this case, it can be fatal.

The risk of transmitting Legionella bacteria is well known and the steps necessary to protect the public from it are simple, cheap and easily implemented.

"I have dealt with claims arising from many outbreaks of Legionnaires disease contracted around the world. All of these outbreaks could and should have been avoided. Clearly more still needs to be done to promote higher standards and avoid repetition of this tragic loss of life."

 

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