Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health has announced that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm in Sweden has issued an alert to visitors having already visited the island of Mallorca or are intending to in the near future.
An outbreak of legionnaire’s disease on the island has seen a total of 18 documented cases which includes one death. This is particularly rampant in the Palmanova area. The source of the infections has not yet been identified.
Legionnaire’s disease is bacterial infection which is caused by bacteria found in miniscule water particles ejected by showers, whirlpools, cooling towers or other sources ejecting micro-particles of water. Once inhaled, this bacteria settles in the lungs causing pneumonia within just a few days, most notably after six days but can vary anywhere between two and 10 days. The initial symptoms are feelings of unease, a cough, a sore throat and a high fever (39-40.5°C).
The disease is not contagious but must be treated quickly. A hospital stay is necessary along with a strong course of antibiotics to avoid serious complications and death: 10 to 15% of those affected will die.
As a precautionary measure, visitors returning from the island of Mallorca and having stayed in Palmanova and displaying symptoms are recommended to seek immediate medical advice. Those aged over 50, smokers and individuals with a low immunity threshold are most at risk.