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Outbreak of legionnaires’ disease in British tourists visiting northern Cyprus
Two cases of legionnaires’ disease have been diagnosed in people who were part of a group of 24 adults from the United Kingdom
(UK) who stayed at a hotel in Kyrenia, in northern Cyprus between 21 December 2003 and 3 January 2004. Both cases are males
aged between 50 and 59 years and one has died. A case of legionnaires’ disease in August 2003 was also associated with this
same hotel. Two of the three cases were diagnosed by urinary antigen detection, one of which has been confirmed as Legionella
pneumophila serogroup 1 by the Health Protection Agency’s Respiratory and Systemic Infections Laboratory, Colindale, and the
other by direct immuno-fluorescence of the organism.
Northern Cyprus is under Turkish jurisdiction and their collaborator in the European Surveillance Scheme for Travel Associated
Legionnaires’ Disease (EWGLINET) is taking responsibility for organising environmental investigations and control measures at the
hotel. WHO Europe, all other collaborating countries in EWGLINET, and the Department of Health, England, have been informed of
the outbreak.
The remaining 22 people from the recent tour group are being contacted by the tour operator and informed of the outbreak, and
advised to seek medical attention if they themselves develop symptoms suggestive of legionella infection during the relevant time

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