Chiang Mai: European tourist catches Legionnaires’ Disease in hotel
A European tourist, his nationality has not been named, has succumbed to the Legionnaire bacteria in a Chiang Mai hotel. A public health official in the northern city admits that the tourist went down with Legionnaires’ Disease after staying in Chiang Mai. He says that foreigners tend not to have resistance to the legionella bacteria that causes the condition.
But added that Thais have a natural resistance to the bacteria (in researching the topic we couldn’t verify any evidence of the health official’s claims.).
Sanook is reporting that Dr Sumeth Onwandee, head of the Urban Institute for Disease Prevention in the northern Thai capital, said that the hotel’s hot water systems including a reservoir for hot water, taps and shower heads were checked. The hotel was not named.
The bacteria propagates in temperatures of 32 to 35 degrees.
Infected people can develop a ‘kind’ of pneumonia. There are thought to be about 8,000 to 18,000 cases in the US each year. The disease was first identified after the 1976 American Legion convention in a hotel in Philadelphia.
Many legionnaires and other people died prompting one of the biggest disease investigations in US history. There is no vaccine for the disease and prevention depends on good maintenance of water systems.
Dr Sumeth said that most Thais are immune though foreigners are more susceptible.
Sanook did not report on the condition of the tourist who contracted the disease.
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