03/02/2012 Valencia/Spain/UK (KMC) - Three British men have died after contacting legionnaire’s disease while on holiday in Spain. The men, who were between the ages of 73 and 78, were among more than 20 people who contacted the disease at the Diamante Beach hotel in the Spanish resort of Calpe, near Valencia.
According to the BBC, one man was found dead in his hotel room, while another died in hospital.
The regional government of Valencia said today that 14 other people, 10 who are British, are currently being treated for the disease. All those affected are in their 70s or 80s.
The deaths were confirmed over the past 24 hours, almost three weeks after the holiday provider Saga holidays was first informed of the out-break at the four star resort.
El País newspaper reported the first death happened on the 26th January and another came three days later.
Saga said a further three people remain in hospital in Spain. Five others who recently stayed at the same hotel have been treated in hospital in the UK, though all but one has now been discharged.
A Saga spokesman said: "It was reported to us on Saturday 14 January that a customer who had stayed at the Diamante Beach hotel in Spain was being treated for pneumonia caused by legionella, when that happened we immediately sent out a scientific expert to Spain and informed our guests there and offered to move them to a different hotel. We also contacted people who had stayed at the hotel in the previous month telling them to contact their doctor if they were experiencing flu-like symptoms."
The British Foreign office are now providing consular assistance to all those affected by the outbreak.
Legionnaires disease is caused by legionnella bacteria which often originates from air conditioning, plumbing systems or infected water sources. When these particles are inhaled they can cause diseases such as lung infection or pneumonia.
Symptoms include high fever, muscle ache and a dry cough, which appear between 2 and 10 days of exposure to the bacteria.
Those with weakened immune systems such as the elderly and those who smoke, are particularly susceptible to the disease.