Bacteria which can cause Legionnaire’s Disease found in leisure centre
- Credit: Paul Harrison Photo
The bacteria which can cause Legionnaire's Disease has been discovered in the showers at a Norfolk leisure centre.
Inspections have identified the legionella contamination in both the male and female showers at the Long Stratton Leisure Centre.
That bacteria can cause the lung infection Legionnaire's Disease. Droplets of water which contain the bacteria can cause the infection if they are breathed in.
The discovery has prompted South Norfolk Council to close the showers at the centre, which re-opened in April after a £2m revamp and extension.
While council bosses say the risk of healthy people contracting Legionnaire's Disease - a severe form of pneumonia - is extremely low, there is an increased risk for more vulnerable people.
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The bacteria can also cause a milder illness called Pontiac fever.
As a precautionary measure, anybody who has used the Long Stratton Leisure Centre showers over the past 10 days, who is experiencing severe, flu-like symptoms, is advised to speak to their GP.
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A spokesman for South Norfolk Council said: "Long Stratton leisure centre has closed its showers as a precautionary measure following the discovery of legionella in both the male and female showers.
"Information provided by the NHS says that for people who are healthy the risk of contracting Legionnaires disease is extremely low.
"However, it is increased for men over the age of 50 and for individuals whose immune system is suppressed and smokers.
"As a strictly precautionary measure, If you have used the leisure centre showers in the last 10 days and are experiencing severe, flu like symptoms you are advised to consult your doctor."
The presence of the bacteria in the showers was confirmed on Wednesday night. The showers have been shut, but the rest of the centre remains open.
A spokesman said a deep clean of the showers had been carried out on Friday and they would re-open on Saturday at the latest.
The symptoms of Legionnaire's Disease are a flu-like illness, muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, a dry cough, high fever and sometimes diarrhoea and confusion.
Legionnaire's Disease cannot be spread from person to person.