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Increase in Overseas Legionnaires’ Disease and Waterborne Outbreaks

Legionnaires’ disease and infections from waterborne viruses have increased overseas in the United States.

Cooling Towers Legionnaire's Disease Holiday Claims

We recently wrote about the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease overseas in the United States. In the blog, Slater and Gordon Travel Litigation lawyer, Nicola Marshall discussed the source of the outbreak, traced to water cooling towers of Legionella bacteria, and the lack of legislation regulating mandatory inspections and registering the locations of cooling towers in New York – something that is a law in the UK.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed 32 outbreaks of infections caused by drinking water in the United States, causing 431 infections, of which 102 required hospitalisation and 14 people were killed. Legionella bacteria caused 21 of all outbreaks, accounting for all of the 14 aforementioned deaths.

Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaire’s disease, lives in water. It causes lung infections when small droplets of contaminated water are inhaled. The CDC’s report revealed that more than half of all outbreaks from water systems used surface water sources. With more than half of the total outbreaks caused by organisms such as the norovirus, and bacteria and parasites that could effectively be killed by chlorine, a call for an increase in monitoring and disinfection is clear.

Unfortunately we see a number of holidaymakers return from their trips with Legionnaire’s disease. If you think that you may have Legionnaires’ disease, seek immediate medical attention. If you believe that your illness has been contacted overseas and you wish to seek compensation it is important that you contact a travel solicitor who specialises in travel litigation, as opposed to a general personal injury lawyer.

For more information on overseas accident claims, read our previous blog here.

Joanne Berry is a Travel Litigation Lawyer specialising in International Travel Litigation at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

If you are diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease abroad, our No Win, No Fee Solicitors can help you with your claim for compensation.

Call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.

From outside the UK please call +44 20 7657 1555.

Do you think the regulation of cooling towers should be mandatory? Will this change how you research your next trip abroad? Share your views below.

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