It seems like bacteria outbreaks are more common as of late. First the listeria outbreak, now we hear from the Daily Mil Online about a legionella outbreak and this time it is a health spa at the centre of the scandal.
The Healax Salt Caves in Bournemouth, Dorset, had to be closed while workman investigate a legionella outbreak.
Over a period of 18 days, 39 spa visitors fell ill, experiencing various symptoms including sickness, fever and shortness of breath.
14 out of the 39 were confirmed to have a bacterial infection which commonly leads to Legionnaire’s disease and 9 of those experienced symptoms severe enough to require treatment in a hospital.
One of the clients of the spa was diagnosed with Pontiac fever. She became incredibly ill 24 hours after going into the spa’s hot tub.
Pontiac fever is cause by legionella bacteria and is a mild flu-like illness. The bacteria are common in natural water sources such as lakes, reservoir and rivers. It can also be found in purpose-built water systems such evaporative condensers, as cooling towers hot and cold water systems and most importantly, spa pools.
Another client, Paul Wetton, has mentioned that while he used the sea-salt hot tub, he could smell ‘damp and urine’. He and his wife only stayed for half an hour as the experience was not enjoyable. After visiting his GP, he was also diagnosed with Pontiac fever and received antibiotics.
Trish Leake, who visited the spa with her daughter as a birthday treat in June, has been ill ever since. Her long list of symptoms includes dry cough, sickness, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, fever, headache, no appetite and brain fog.
The spa has been visited by the Officials from Public Health England (PHE), who closed it down for investigation and tests.
The public was not, in fact, informed about the outbreak by the government body. Instead, it was a customer that let people know.
Dr Fiona Neely, consultant in health protection at Public Health England South West and the team lead of the outbreak control has said that there is no ongoing risk to the wider public and that all parties involved acted quickly to control any further risk of exposure.
They prioritised informing all the clients of the spa who could have been exposed and advised visiting appropriate medical professionals if they were worried, or contact the Health Protection Team
Luckily, everyone with the illness is now on their way to recovery.
Healax Salt Caves has made an apology on their Facebook page “Dear costumers, we do apologise for any inconvenience caused, we are closed and not taking bookings until further notice. If you have a voucher you may opt: 1. To write us for an extension if your voucher, or 2. To ask for a refund the company you purchased the voucher from. Thank you for your understanding. Wish you all the best!”
While it is nice of the business to apologies to their customers, we believe they would have preferred the health spa to have maintained a good standard of cleanliness instead. They put their clients’ health at risk, which is incredibly ironic considering the nature of the business. Additionally, it would be more than fair for them to offer refunds on the vouchers, rather than extensions.
In situations such as these, it is hard not to blame the company that made you ill. If you have been affected by a similar situation, you may be able to seek compensation from the business that was at fault.
Contact us now to find out if you could receive the compensation you deserve.
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