Legionella detected in hotel in Malaga
Local health authorities closed down the spa facilities of a hotel
in Estepona, Malaga, yesterday after strands of the the Legionella
bacteria were detected in two showers.
Legionella thrives in a warm, moist environments such as water
pipes or air-conditioning systems in large buildings. Some types
of legionella bacteria cause the type of pneumonia called Legionaires
Disease while others are less agressive and cause an illness known
as Pontiac fever that heals on its own and produces symptoms similar
to flu. The disease is spread by inhaling contaminated water droplets.
It is quite common for legionella to be a problem in Spain, especially
during the Summer months. Just four years ago there was a massive
outbreak in Murcia, where over 700 people were infected by the
bacteria, of whom 315 were diagnosed with legionnaires’
disease and one person died. Over two thirds people affected were
over fifty. Every Summer the bacteria is detected somewhere in
Spain, but usually measures are taken before anyone is infected.
Yesterday the Malagan authorities said they were closing down
the spa facilities in the Hotel H10 Estepona Palace as a precautionary
measure after legionella was detected in two showers during routine
tests. The local authorities stressed that nobody had been infected
but that the spa would remained closed until further checks had
been carried out once the systems had been disinfected.
The incubation period for legionnaires disease is two to ten
days. The first symptoms include loss of appetite, headache, muscle
and stomach ache, diarrhea, and a dry cough. After a few days,
pneumonia follows with high fever, chills, sleepiness, and coughing
up of phlegm. If untreated, the pneumonia gets worse, so anyone
who has stayed in the Estepona Palace hotel in the last couple
of weeks is advised to consult their doctor should any of the
above symptoms become apparant.