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Legionnaires' Disease in Spain

14 Sep 2012

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease has been reported from the city of Blanes, northeast of Barcelona, Girona province, Catalonia on the Costa Brava.

The Public Health Agency is investigating the source of the outbreak which was first identified in the week beginning 3rd September 2012. A total of 8 cases have been reported, 3 of whom have been hospitalised.

The first cases were one Latvian and 3 Dutch tourists staying in a campside in Blanes and a cooling tower near the campsite is being investigated; preventive treatments have been initiated in the bathroom area and the pool on the site.

The investigation into the source of infection has been extended as three further cases were located in residents of the province of Barcelona and one from the city of Blane.

Advice for Travellers

The risk of Legionnaires' disease for travellers to the Costa Brava is considered to be low but is higher in those over 40 years-of-age, those immunosuppressed and smokers. Travellers to the area should however be aware that the outbreak is ongoing and should they develop an influenza-like illness with fever, cough or shortness of breath during their stay or up to two weeks after return home, they should seek medical advice promptly for investigation.