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Woman dies from Legionnaires’ Disease after staying at Shropshire hotel

September 2017

A hotel has been closed due to an outbreak of Legionnares’ Disease which led to a death of a guest.

The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow has announced the temporary closure as a precautionary measure after advice from Public Health England (PHE) in the West Midlands and Shropshire Council.

The voluntary closure comes after laboratory test results establishing links between Legionella bacteria found in water samples from the hotel plumbing, and two separate confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in guests, both from Merseyside, who stayed at the hotel.

The first case was diagnosed in April 2017 and has recovered. The most recently diagnosed guest, a woman in her late 60s who stayed at the hotel in July, died.

Dr David Kirrage, a consultant with PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, said extensive work is needed at the hotel before it will be able to re-open.

He said: “My heartfelt condolences go out to those affected by this incident. On the discovery of the presence of Legionella at the hotel, the management implemented public health advice in order to minimise exposure to guests and staff.

“It closed the affected rooms, disinfected the water system and employed heating contractors to investigate the boilers and pipework.

“Isolated cases of Legionella infection are reported to us on a regular basis and investigated as a matter of routine. However, results from PHE laboratories on September 11, 2017, confirmed that the strain of Legionella located in the hotel is indistinguishable from the samples taken from the two cases.

“Extensive work is now needed to overhaul and treat the plumbing in such an old building, so that guests can fully enjoy the facilities.

“The hotel has decided that with such a complex building it is easier and minimises risks to the public to close the hotel temporarily to conduct remedial works. Environmental Health Officers at Shropshire Council will continue to take water samples from the hotel during this time to test for the bacteria.”

The hotel is an historic inn that was constructed back in 1619, and is known as of Ludlow’s best known listed buildings.

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