Legionnaires' disease cases, clusters and outbreaks associated with hotels in the West Midlands, England
PHE ePoster Library. Buckley K. Sep 10, 2018; 221149; 90
Karen Buckley
Karen Buckley
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Abstract
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Abstract This report is on two distinct clusters of Legionnaires' disease in the West Midlands in 2017 in two period hotels built in the 17th and 18th centuries, who had both undergone numerous modifications. Both investigations presented unique challenges in the practical application of guidance for local (UK) travel associated clusters to control Legionella pneumophila in the water systems. This included 1) Defining a cluster and the timely confirmation of when an outbreak has developed, 2) Using the cluster and outbreak definitions to inform the risk assessments and review of control measures in the environmental investigations, 3) Communicating the risk to the public and the media through clear messages, and 4) Seeking assurance on safety of water management systems in defining the end point for a cluster or outbreak investigation. Legionella control in water systems of period buildings was found to be extremely difficult. There was also a balance of risk to prevent a further case arising against reputational and financial risk to businesses. Our investigations demonstrate the importance of clarifying the interpretation of guidelines to make recommendations to inform future Legionella investigations in hospitality facilities in period properties with complex water systems.
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