Team Representing Other Legionnaires' Victims Say Latest Outbreak In Spain Is ‘Worrying’
Leading travel lawyers representing a number of people affected by legionnaires' disease at a hotel in Spain earlier this year have called for an investigation into reports of another outbreak of the lung infection which is reported to have killed at least one person and the Regional Health authorities are reported to be investigating more than 40 other possible cases of illness.
The travel law team at Irwin Mitchell has represented many families of those tragically killed or becoming ill from Legionnaires' disease contracted abroad including people who suffered at a hotel in Calpe, Spain in an outbreak in January. The hotel was originally closed due to the illness but since re-opening guests have suffered from a further outbreak of the disease just last month (June 2012).
Spanish media claim a fish restaurant in Mostoles, a village outside Madrid, has been identified as a potential source of the latest legionnaire’s outbreak. Reports say that over 40 suspected cases have been identified with two people having died, although one was known to be ill before, and some needing hospital treatment.
Philip Banks, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is extremely worrying that there are reports of another outbreak of legionnaire’s disease in Spain so soon after so many families were previously affected by the illness in a hotel in Calpe.
“The Spanish authorities need to carry out an urgent investigation into the exact source of this latest outbreak not only to prevent further illness but also to provide answers to those that have become ill or lost loved ones to the disease.
“Places in hot climates can be particularly at risk as the legionella bacteria thrives in warmer weather and air conditioning machines often linked with the spread of legionnaires are much more widely used.
“The risks of legionnaires' disease have been known in the hotel and leisure industry for many years and there are steps that can be taken to manage the potential development and spread of bacteria. If these protocols are correctly followed people should be safe from infection.”
Banks said these protocols includes basic precautions such as ensuring water is stored at an appropriate temperature, regularly testing water supplies and regular chlorination and cleaning of showers, taps, water tanks and pipes.