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Doubt lingers over Legionnaire’s “outbreak’ claims

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Doubt lingers over Legionnaire’s “outbreak’ claims | The Thaiger

PATONG: Reports in the Finnish press of Legionnaire’s Disease being contracted by a group of tourists staying at a hotel in Patong have yet to be confirmed, as tests are still being conducted by the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO), Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization.

As of press time, no proof of the bacteria Legionella has been found at the Phuket Grand Tropicana Hotel, where a group of Finnish tourists stayed during a November holiday. In its most common form, the disease presents itself between two and 10 days after exposure.

However, it is still unknown if the tourists were staying at the hotel at the time of their exposure.

The Gazette has also been unable to confirm in how many patients Legionella has been isolated or who did the lab work.

Despite repeated inquiries, the management at the Phuket Grand Tropicana remained unavailable for comment. On condition of anonymity, however, a representative said, “It doesn’t mean that we have the disease here, only that some guests [who contracted it] stayed here.

“It happened in November. Right now we still have guests as normal. An officer from the Health Department in Bangkok has already checked the problem here, so please contact them directly,” the representative said.

Dr Wanchai Sattayawuthipong, Chief of the PPHO, told the Gazette that his agency reported the matter to the National Health Department (NHD), which sent officers to the site on January 12 to take air and water samples. The results have not yet been released, he added.

Pamuke Atchariyachai, Honorary Consul-General for Phuket by the Republic of Finland and Managing Director of the Kata Group of hotels and resorts, told the Gazette that he has not received any other reports of the disease in Phuket.

The Finnish Public Health institute reported January 9 that four tourists – two Swedish, one Finnish and one Norwegian – were hospitalized with pneumonia, a common presentation of the disease.

It also reported that Finnish tour operator Aurinkomatkat has withdrawn all of its guests from the hotel. The Hong Kong government has also issued a travel advisory for Phuket.

K. Pamuke urges tourists and residents to remain calm. “For tourists, please understand that this disease is very rare,” he said, adding that he hopes the Tourism Authority of Thailand moves swiftly in taking steps to set the record straight.

He added that he has heard no reports of tourists canceling vacations because of this scare.

Legionnaire’s Disease is a water-borne bacteria spread primarily through air conditioning units, fountains or humidifiers. Once embedded in the fabric fibers of a building, complete disinfection is required for its eradication. The disease does not, however, spread through human-to-human contact.

An engineering supervisor at the Grand Tropicana, who also spoke on condition that his name not be used because of the hotel’s policy against speaking to the press, said that the air conditioners at the hotel are cleaned every month and have been cleaned as per schedule since the guests checked out.

About half of the rooms in the hotel use central air conditioning through a large unit, while the remainder have individual room units.



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Phuket

Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | The Thaiger

A motorbike driver has filed a report with police against a cable company after he became tangled up in their cabling while driving to work in Kata.

26 year old Chakaree Yawaekaree filled the report with Chalong Police against the local cable company.

Mr Chakaree told Police that he was driving to work in Kata on Friday morning. When he arrived at the scene he ran into the cabling that had dropped down, just above the road level. The cables hooked his motorbike and caused him to crash and fall off. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for scrapes, grazes and a badly injured right knee.

Chalong Police say they are continuing their investigation. They say the cables belong to a private company and that this kind of incident happens “very often”.

Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Motorbike driver dies after colliding with sedan on Thepkasattri Road, Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike driver dies after colliding with sedan on Thepkasattri Road, Phuket | The Thaiger

A motorbike driver has died after colliding with a sedan driven by a Russian driver who was allegedly making a “risky” U-turn on Thepkrasattri Road in Koh Kaew yesterday.

The incident happened at 3.30pm yesterday.

Police and other emergency responders arrived to find a white sedan, a motorbike and a pickup truck.

The motorbike driver had sustained serious injuries – 19 year old Weerapat Chamnina – and had already been rushed tp Mission Phuket Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police report that a white sedan, whose driver was a 37 year old Russian man, Maxim Shadrin, was heading along the southbound lane of Thepkasattri Road.

Police speculate that he was trying to make a U-turn but was allegedly out of the lane of traffic making the turn.

The motorbike collided with the rear of the man’s sedan.  The motorbike driver bounced off to the other side of the road (northbound lane).  Then a pickup truck hit the motorbike driver.

Police are continuing their investigation and examining all the CCTV footage.

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Phuket

54 year old Swede dodges traffic in Thepkasattri Road, Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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54 year old Swede dodges traffic in Thepkasattri Road, Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Achadtaya Chuenniran

A 54 year old Swedish tourist is now in custody after running around Thepkasattri road yesterday morning dodging cars and causing traffic mayhem. Luckily no cars came in contact with the man police described as ‘mentally ill’.

A video clip from the incident shows the man running in and out of the traffic on Thepkasattri Road in Thalang. The incident happened around 2.30am.

The road had to be closed for 20-30 minutes as police apprehended the man, unhurt. The motive for his dangerous antics have not become apparent at this stage.

The man, who remains named was taken to Thalang Hospital for checking then was transferred to Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town. Police revealed that his visa expired on the same day so they’ve contacted the local Swedish consular officials to check on the man’s family and travel situation.

The Swede is currently being evaluated and treated in the hospital’s psychiatric wing.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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