Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak Linked To Corfu

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Legionnaires are bacteria that can spread through the exposure to water droplets. It is known that showers, air conditioning, spas, fountains, streams and rivers are potential sources for the problem.

The illness can cause pneumonia like symptoms and can be fatal. The symptoms can develop 2-19 days after initial exposure. Usually headaches and muscle pains are the initial cause of complaint. This may develop into chest pain, confusion, delirium, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and vomiting. In some cases people who are affected begin coughing up blood.

It seems almost impossible to avoid potential causes of legionnaires whilst on holiday and sadly there is no vaccine to prevent the infection. However if you are worried about the look of any of the water facilities, inform the relevant authority or if possible, avoid using them. If you are over 50, a smoker with a heart condition, you may be well advised to avoid Jacuzzi and whirlwind spas altogether. If you are unfortunate to develop any of the symptoms above, contact a doctor immediately.

There is no suggestion that people planning on holidaying in Corfu should reconsider their vacation, however holidaymakers are urged to be more vigilant on the Greek island and to contact their tour operator beforehand if necessary.

 Ian Jenkins

Legal Executive - Travel Team

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