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Legionnaire's Disease in Spain (Palmanova, Majorca)

16 Oct 2017

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported 13 cases of travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease since 3 October 2017. All had travelled to the Palmanova area of Majorca, Spain. Several hotels are linked to the outbreak, although no source of infection has been identified.

All cases became ill between 11 and 30 September and had visited Palmanova (12 cases) or the nearby town of Santa Ponca (1 case) in the previous 2-10 days.

Most cases have been reported by the United Kingdom (including Scotland) but cases have also been reported from the Czech Republic, Denmark and the Netherlands. The situation is considered highly unusual, as normally only 1-4 cases of travel-associated Legionnaire’s disease per year are linked to the Palmanova area.

Tour operators and local authorities have been informed of the situation and investigations are continuing. It is possible that further cases will be identified.

Advice to 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.