AN outbreak of legionnaires’ disease in Majorca which claimed the life of a British tourist and affected 19 other British holidaymakers has been traced to a hotel Jacuzzi.
Health officials on the island revealed they had identified the source in a statement in which they said they were closing their investigation.
They revealed in mid-October that a 70-year-old British man had died in hospital in the island capital Palma after going down with the illness.
Regional health authority boss Maria Ramos said at the time that they were working on trying to locate the source of the outbreak in the Brit-popular resort of Palmanova next to the brash party resort of Magaluf with the help of a specialist lab in Madrid.
Positive samples were detected at an unnamed hotel in Palmanova where several of those affected were staying.
The hotel closed before news of the legionnaires’ disease outbreak became public after its water supply was shut down.
It was not immediately clear today if the Jacuzzi, part of an outdoors hotel installation, belonged to the hotel that closed down or not as officials did not name the establishment.
The regional health authority said in a statement: “From October 4 to November 16 we were informed of 27 cases of legionnaires’ disease linked to a particular area of Palmanova.
“The people affected included 26 foreign tourists who had stayed in hotels in the resort, 20 of whom were from the UK.”
A spokesman added: “The tourists affected stayed in Palmanova between August 13 and October 13.
“They have all recovered apart from the gentleman aged 70 who suffered different illnesses including diabetes and chronic leukaemia and coronary heart disease.
“He died in hospital on October 11.
“The investigation to determine the source of infection has concluded that it is an exterior Jacuzzi tub in one of the hotels in the Palmanova area.”
Mrs Ramos said in October the holidaymakers diagnosed with legionnaires’ disease had been staying at a total of seven hotels in the resort, making it unlikely the hotel with the most number of people affected was the source of the outbreak – or the sole source if it ended up being linked to the killer bug scare.
Since being informed of the first case on October 5, regional health authorities acting in conjunction with local police reacted by closing beach showers and a water fountain in Palmanova as well as water sprinklers and checking to make sure restaurants were not using water mist systems some were employing last in September.
Although legionella bacteria was detected during the investigation at different places in Palmanova, the ones found in samples taken from people affected with the illness only coincided with those located in the unnamed hotel’s jacuzzi.
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection caused by legionella bacteria.
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