Bournemouth spa shut down after potentially fatal Legionella infection

A Bournemouth spa has been shut down after a confirmed outbreak of the potentially fatal Legionella infection.

Fourteen people who visited Healax Salt Caves and Spa, Wonderholme Parade, Kinson, have developed the bacterial infections, which can lead to Legionnaires’ disease.

Public Health England (PHE), which is working with BCP Council’s environmental health officers, Public Health Dorset and local NHS organisations, say immediate action was taken to close the premises and to ensure no further risk to the public.

PHE says nine people have been treated in hospital and are now recovering at home.

A further 39 people who visited the spa also reported symptoms of infection, but have not had Legionella confirmed by laboratory tests.

  • Original Article: Bournemouth Daily Echo
  • Date: July 2019

Dr Fiona Neely, outbreak control team lead and consultant in health protection at PHE South West, said: “We understand there will be concern among people who visited Healax Salt Caves and Spa, whether or not they have become ill, and we would like to reassure those affected that all immediate public health action has been taken.
“Thankfully, in all cases of illness that have been reported to PHE to date, those affected are now recovering from their illnesses.”

This information was also shared with local residents and businesses adjacent to the spa, on a precautionary basis.

Paul Wetton, a project manager from Bournemouth, aged 42, who visited the business on June 16 with his wife, Angela, told the Daily Echo: “The conditions in the spa were terrible and rather than improve our health we both developed chest infections and I became very ill.

“I should have known something was wrong when I saw it was next to an off-licence and a chippy.
“When you walked in there was this strong smell, it smelt of urine and damp.”

Paul has since been given the all clear for Legionnaires’ disease but diagnosed with Pontiac fever, which is a milder flu-like illness caused by Legionella bacteria.