A Burton hotel remains only partially open after two people who had stayed at the hotel were later diagnosed with legionnaires’ disease.
The Three Queens Hotel and Lodge, in Bridge Street, was temporarily closed on October 6 on the advice of health professionals from Public Health England (PHE) in the West Midlands, East Staffordshire Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council.
The move followed lab tests showing legionella pneumophila bacteria present in water samples taken from hotel plumbing, and two separate, confirmed cases of legionnaires’ disease in former hotel guests.
Dr Musarrat Afza, consultant with PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, said: “Isolated cases of legionella infection are reported to us on a regular basis and investigated as a matter of routine.
“Following the second case of confirmed legionnaires’ disease with a link to the hotel, we liaised with colleagues in the local Environmental Health team to carry out testing of water systems at the hotel and on discovering legionella, management implemented public health advice to minimise exposure to guests and staff, and closed areas where the bacteria had been detected immediately, and soon after the decision was made to close the hotel completely to allow a full assessment of the water systems and remedial work.
“Members of the Environmental Health team have been testing throughout the process to assess when the various hotel buildings could reopen.”
Two people, who had stayed at the hotel earlier this year, were diagnosed with legionnaires’ disease. The first person was from Nottingham and was diagnosed in January. The second, from Bridlington, Yorkshire, was diagnosed in September and was seriously ill as a result.
She was found to have double pneumonia and spent three weeks in hospital hooked up to a drip and on constant oxygen. When she returned home she was still bed-bound and struggling to breathe.
Malcolm Novell, general manager of The Three Queens Hotel and Lodge, said: “The health and wellbeing of our guests and staff members is of the utmost importance, so we have been working closely with public health professionals from East Staffordshire Borough Council and Public Health England and taking remedial action.
“Once work on our water systems is complete and satisfactory test results have been received from health professionals, we will reopen fully to the public.”
On temporary closure of the hotel, management contacted guests to explain the situation, and notified people who had stayed at the hotel two weeks prior to closure to advise them to make contact if they experienced any symptoms of legionnaires’ disease. It is important to note that legionnaires’ disease cannot be passed from person to person.