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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Legionnaire's Disease in Spain (Palmanova, Majorca)

23 Oct 2017

An outbreak of legionnaires’ disease has been detected in Palmanova, Majorca, Spain. As of 18 October 2017, 18 travel-associated cases, including 1 death, were reported. The 18 cases stayed in various holiday accommodations in Palmanova. An additional case has been detected in a local person working in holiday accommodation.

Cases have been reported from the United Kingdom ( 14 cases), France (2 cases), Czech Republic (1 case) and Denmark (1 case). While legionnaire's disease occurs occasionally in Palmanova, with about 4 cases per year, an outbreak as large as the current one is unusual.

Spanish public health authorities continue to investigate the outbreak.

Advice to travellers

All travellers in an area where legionnaire's disease occurs are potentially at risk of infection. The risk is increased in travellers with underlying medical conditions. Travellers 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 prevent exposure to infection.

Travellers are 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 see Respiratory Infections.