Outbreak of legionnaires disease aboard the Black Watch cruise ship
A group of elderly Britons who have all shown symptoms of Legionnaires disease were admitted to hospital in Sweden after being taken ill on a cruise ship travelling around Lapland.
Seven British holiday makers, all aged in their 70s and 80s were taken to hospital after suffering from symptoms similar to those bought on by pneumonia whilst aboard the cruise ship, the black watch.
As yet the group of five women and two men have not been diagnosed with the illness and are expected to remain in hospital until further notice.
The ship itself headed back to the UK where it is expected to undergo a rigorous deep clean, its pools and Jacuzzi already closed down as a precaution on the advise of the Swedish health authorities.
More than 750 passengers were on board the liner which had already visited several ports in northern Europe, including St Petersburg, Estonia and Finland, before arriving in Stockholm.
A different liner run by the same company, called the Black Prince, was hit by a highly contagious vomiting virus twice last year.
Travel law expert Clive Garner from law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has represented victims of Legionnaires' disease, said: "Legionnaires'
disease is an extremely serious illness, if not fatal it can often leave victims with long term symptoms from their illness.
"There are very strict guidelines in place for both hotels and cruise ships to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria, these include maintaining hot water within the correct temperature range and strict maintenance of any storage tanks containing water to prevent the transmission of the bacteria.
"If there is a confirmed outbreak of Legionnaires disease, something is likely to have gone seriously wrong with the essential measures which should have been in place to prevent such an outbreak."
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