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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Legionnaire's Disease in United Arab Emirates (Update)

27 Jan 2017

On 18 January 2017 the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued an updated reportLink regarding the increased number of cases Legionnaires’ disease associated with travel to Dubai in the last quarter of 2016.

As of 17 January 2017 there have been 33 cases of Legionnaires’ associated with travel to Dubai, all cases were in Dubai during the incubation period of their Legionnaires’ disease and all had onset since 1 October 2016.

Cases were reported by the United Kingdom (16 cases), Sweden (5), the Netherlands (4), France (3), Denmark (2), Germany (2) and Belgium (1). One of the notified cases was fatal.

Public health authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have informed ECDC that environmental investigations at the notified hotels were undertaken; all Legionella count results were within acceptable levels as specified in the water system guidelines for the Dubai municipality. No information from the UAE authorities has been provided to ECDC concerning whether other environmental investigations were undertaken in Dubai.

Advice for Travellers

All travellers are potentially at risk of infection, the risk is increased in travellers with underlying medical conditions. Travelers staying in poorly maintained hotel/apartment accommodation may be at higher risk. Flushing through showers in hotels or institutions with hot water when they have not been used recently may help.

  • Travellers to outbreak areas should be advised to seek prompt medical advice if they develop an influenza-like illness with fever, cough or shortness of breath during their stay or up to two weeks after return home.

  • For further information on Legionnaires' disease see: Respiratory Infections