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Leisure Centre - Legionnaires Disease Case Study

We have set out a case study below taken from a local newspaper (with names removed)

Extreme measures to protect the public have been implemented by council chiefs following a Legionnaires' disease scare in a local leisure centre.

"The difficulty we had was we couldn't say it was Legionnaires' disease because we didn't know if it was."

The leisure centre was closed again on Monday while isolated areas were disinfected for a second time after it emerged that another leisure centre technician had been diagnosed with the disease.

He had travelled to other sites, and centre managers have taken the action to reduce the risk of anyone else being infected.
A limited amount of the least harmful form of legionella bacteria was found in shower systems in both complexes.They will remain closed until final results come through, although council officials expect them to be negative.
But one local sports club felt they had been kept in the dark about the precautions.

"They told me the whole leisure centre was closed for maintenance said Stuart Williams, of a local basketball team.

"They certainly never mentioned it to me. I thought it was strange because they only shut down for maintenance in January."

"If that was the score they certainly didn't mention Legionnaires' disease to us."
The basketball team meets at the centre every Wednesday night and said their session on 30th May was cancelled when the centre was first disinfected.
"Somebody said it was the water supply and now I think about it we couldn't use the showers the week before"

"They weren't exactly lying but it is hardly maintenance. It would have been nice to have known what the problem was, but they are obviously taking appropriate action by stopping people using the facilities."
"I'd like to know if they are confident they have cleared it, it won't happen again and it is safe to use and enjoy once more"
The council employee was diagnosed as having Legionnaires on 22nd May although it has not been proven he caught it from the centres.
The leisure Centre was closed on 27th May while the water system was disinfected and the procedure was repeated two days later.
Legionella bacteria is found in warm water and causes loss of energy, headaches, nausea aching muscles, fever and chest pains.

The council employee - who has not been named - has been treated and is now thought to be recovering at home.
"It is unfortunate that we are in this position but we were unable to give people any notice because we had to tackle it as soon as possible," said the council's leisure centres manager Barry Marshall.
"The difficulty we had was we couldn't say it was Legionnaires' disease because we didn't know if it was."
"It was maintenance because the work was concerned with maintaining the water system."
"If we know that there is something there we want to absolutely eradicate it, and that is why there is a working assumption that there is a link between the guy who was ill and the centres."
Mr Marshall added:"At no time has there been any real danger to the public and the action we have taken has been to safeguard the situation."
"People should have no cause for concern about using the leisure centres."