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Investigations following legionnaires’ outbreak in Turkey

There are concerning reports of Legionnaires’ Disease contracted by British holidaymakers who have recently returned from the Sun City Hotel and Beach Club in Olu Deniz, Turkey.  The source of the infection is not yet known and I hope that a thorough investigation is taking place to establish the source and prevent further occurrences.  This follows a widespread outbreak in Palmanova, Majorca, last year in which 27 people were infected, one sadly losing their life. 

Legionnaires' Disease is a lung infection caught by inhaling droplets of water infected with legionella bacteria; it is quite rare but can be incredibly serious and can lead to complications and can even be fatal.  Everyone is susceptible to infection, but higher risk groups include smokers, those over 45 and with impaired immune systems. 

The risk of Legionnaires' Disease has been understood for some years, the bacteria can be found in natural water sources but also in man-made water systems such as hot tubs, mist sprayers and air conditioning units, making hotels particularly susceptible.  There is easily available guidance to control the risks of Legionnaires' and it is a preventable disease. 

Symptoms can take between 2 and 14 days to develop and can often initially be attributed to the usual colds and viruses found at this time of year.  If you have travelled to these two hotels recently and have experienced symptoms including a cough, flu like symptoms, shortness of breath, chest pain and a temperature, alert your GP urgently to the symptoms and to your recent travel. 

Recent government figures showed that 41% of cases confirmed in England and Wales were contracted abroad.  When we travel abroad we expect the facilities to be maintained to high standards and safe for use, not kept in such a state of ill repair that they cause us to contract a damaging illness. 

If you have contracted legionella following a holiday abroad it may be possible to pursue a claim for compensation on your return against your tour operator or in some cases the hotel or its insurers.  Our specialist team are experienced in advising on your path to compensation and we can help you make a compensation claim that will recognise both your illness and any financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the disease, including any impact the illness has had on your holiday.  Get in touch with us today on 0800 054 6570 or email me; joanne.brine@jmw.co.uk to get started. 

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