Legionnaires Scare Sparks Warning

Legionnaires Scare Sparks Warning

PERTH

Two West Australians are in hospital with Legionnaires’ disease after returning from Bali, sparking a warning for travellers from the WA Health Department.

A third Australian, from Victoria, also tested positive for the disease — a severe form of pneumonia that is often fatal — after a Bali holiday.

Western Australia’s director of communicable disease control, Dr Paul Armstrong, said they had most likely been infected with the potentially deadly illness in central Kuta.

It is spread by contaminated warm water droplets or vapour from badly maintained air-conditioning units, cooling towers, spas, showers and fountains.

Early symptoms are similar to severe influenza. Middle aged and older people who smoke or have other pre-existing medical conditions are most at risk.

Legionnaires’ disease acquired its name in July 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia occurred among people attending a convention of the American Legion — a veterans’ organisation – in the US city of Philadelphia.

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