Shropshire Star

Part of Ludlow's Feathers Hotel closed as Legionella bacteria found again

Parts of a Ludlow hotel where a guest died after contracting Legionnaires' disease have been closed off after elevated levels of Legionella bacteria were found.

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The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow

Elaine Brown, 69, died on August 26 last year after suffering a stroke as a result of the disease, which was linked to bacteria in the plumbing at the hotel.

The hotel was closed in September after Mrs Brown's death and reopened in November after two months of remedial work.

But today Shropshire Council and Public Health England (PHE) West Midlands said parts of the hotel had again been voluntarily closed as a precautionary measure.

A joint statement from the council and PHE said: "Following routine sampling of the water system at the Feathers Hotel by Shropshire Council’s Regulatory Services team, elevated levels of Legionella have been detected in the water system at the hotel.

Elaine Brown with her daughter-in-law and grandchildren

"Working with Public Health England, a joint decision has been made to implement urgent measures to reduce Legionella levels in the water system and prevent any risk to staff and guests who use the hotel. This includes a temporary voluntary closure of parts of the hotel until further precautionary works can be carried out."

The statement said the part of the hotel closed off is that fed by the second boiler system, where the negative results were found. The remainder of the hotel, including the bar, remains open and other rooms on a room by room basis.

The statement added: "In 2017 there were two separate cases of Legionella at the hotel where one person sadly died from the disease. The hotel closed in September 2017 for extensive remedial works to be carried out and regular monitoring has been undertaken since.

"The elevated levels have only been detected in the recent set of samples and no new cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been associated with these premises. Any measures being taken now, are precautionary.

"There has been no further cases since September 2017. However as a precautionary measure, guests who have stayed at the hotel within the last 14 days will be contacted by the hotel. Those guests who are concerned and exhibiting any of the above symptoms should contact their GP in the first instance.

"The health and safety of residents and visitors in Shropshire is a key priority and Shropshire Council will always strongly encourage employers in the county, to make health and safety improvements that protect their customers and staff.

"An investigation is currently underway by Shropshire Council, under the Health and Safety at Work Act, in relation to previous Legionnaires’ cases."

What is Legionella?

Legionella organisms are commonly found within water in the natural environment. When levels of the bacteria are elevated in water supply systems there may be a risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease within 14 days of exposure.

Symptoms include:

  • High temperature, feverishness and chills

  • Cough

  • Muscle pains

  • Headache; and leading on to;

  • Pneumonia, very occasionally

  • Diarrhoea and signs of mental confusion

Further information about Legionella can be found on the Public Health England website.

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