Diamanté Beach Hotel shut again after further Legionnaires’ cluster
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) says that a further 12 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been associated with the popular Spanish hotel the Diamanté Beach Hotel at Calpe on the Costa Dorada, although no more outbreaks among UK holidaymakers have been reported since May.
The latest cases of Legionnaires’ disease at the Diamanté Beach Hotel involve five tourists from Belgium and seven from Spain. So far this year, 33 cases of Legionnaires’ disease associated with the hotel have been reported – the latest cases are the third cluster to emerge and the hotel has been closed temporarily for disinfecting.
The head of Legionnaires’ disease surveillance at the HPA, Professor Nick Phin, said:
“We are concerned that another cluster of cases has been associated with the same hotel in Spain since the beginning of this year.
“The HPA is working with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the Spanish authorities to share all necessary information and expertise.
“It’s very important that any potential cases are followed up speedily, potential sources are thoroughly investigated and control measures put in place to minimise the possibility of any new cases occurring.”
The HPA is working with Spanish health authorities to investigate the outbreak – the ECDC will be visiting the hotel premises.
UK GPs and A&E departments have been put on alert to watch for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease among UK holidaymakers. In January, 18 people – including 13 UK residents – were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following a stay at the Diamanté Beach Hotel.
Another Legionnares’ cluster was reported in May, involving three holidaymakers, two of whom were from the UK.
The Spanish public health authorities say the spa pool is the most likely source of infection.
Prof Phin said:
“Around a third to half of all Legionnaires’ disease cases reported in the UK are associated with overseas travel.
“The HPA is reminding medical professionals and members of the public to look out for signs and symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease in returning travellers, following outbreaks at hotels in Spain and Greece over the past few years.
“Anyone who develops ‘flu like’ symptoms or shortness of breath within two weeks of returning from an overseas holiday should seek medical advice from NHS Direct or their GP.
“Although the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease is very low, it can lead to a severe pneumonia – particularly in vulnerable people, such as the elderly or people with pre-existing health conditions – and it is important to get treated very quickly to reduce the impact of the infection”.