On holiday Legionnaires’ disease advice
Contracting the harmful Legionella bacteria and suffering a bout of Legionnaires’ disease could soon put a stop to your holiday enjoyment, as you suffer the debilitating symptoms of pneumonia. If you’ve been affected, get in touch with us; you may be entitled to holiday illness compensation.
Can I make a claim?
Under The Package Travel Regulations 1992, your tour operator is responsible for taking reasonable steps to keep you and your family safe at an all-inclusive hotel on a package holiday. If they don’t do this and you become sick, you could be able to claim holiday compensation.
What do I need to do to claim for Legionnaires’ disease?
If you suffer a Legionella bacterial infection it’s important to get a diagnosis from a medical professional as soon as you can, and also to visit your GP. If want to pursue a compensation claim it can help to put together evidence to support your case while you are still abroad.
What evidence you gather will depend on what you believe caused you to become unwell, but generally, photos and video of sources of infection such as faulty air conditioners can be beneficial, as can statements from guests who might have also suffered the same condition.
If you want to make a holiday compensation claim for a package holiday illness, take advantage of a free no-obligation consultation with one of our travel law specialists, and we’ll advise you of your options.
How much is my claim worth?
The simple answer to “how much is a holiday illness claim worth” depends on how you were affected, but generally speaking, compensation awards tend to be anywhere between £1,000 and £25,000. Because the amount that you can claim depends on your individual situation, it’s advisable to speak to a travel law specialist to get an informed estimate.
What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the Legionella bacteria. It can usually be found in tiny droplets of water and is often inhaled through the mist, causing the bacteria to spread to the lungs.
How do I contract Legionnaires’ disease?
We find that Legionnaires’ disease is most commonly contracted by holidaymakers exposed to poorly maintained air conditioning units, particularly those that are visibly leaking. The Legionella bacteria can also be found in contaminated freshwater Jacuzzis and hot tubs, as they heat the water causing it to mist which enables the bacteria to spread.
While it’s exceedingly rare, it can also be spread by infected people, but the chances of this happening are relatively low.
Where can I catch Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is not particularly common to any part of the world, although hotter climates that rely more heavily on air conditioning could be seen to present a higher risk. Because of this, low standards at any of the following package holiday destinations could result in the Legionella bacteria spreading:
What are the symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease?
People who suffer from Legionnaires’ disease often exhibit symptoms of pneumonia, including a persistent cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches. You may also suffer a cough that produces sputum or phlegm, chest pains, lethargy, a loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as the possibility of skin conditions.
How long does Legionnaires’ disease last?
Once you’ve contracted the Legionella bacteria, the incubation period is usually 2 to 10 days, after which symptoms tend to last for around 2 weeks, depending on your health and lifestyle.
Who is most at risk?
Anyone is capable of contracting the Legionella bacteria, however, those aged over 50 are more at risk, as are those who smoke or have smoked heavily in the past, are heavy drinkers and those who have pre-existing breathing problems or medical conditions, as well as those who have a weakened immune system.
What should I do if I have Legionnaires’ disease?
If you suspect that you’ve contracted this harmful bacterium, it’s vital that you seek out medical assistance as soon as possible. While Legionnaires’ disease can be treated with antibiotics, in some cases it can prove fatal. It’s also advisable to inform a member of the hotel staff so that the cause of your condition can be addressed, and it can be worth filing an initial complaint with your tour operator representative.
If upon returning to the UK you choose to pursue a claim against your tour operator, speak to our travel law specialists first to make sure that you receive the compensation that you’re entitled to.