Legionnaires' disease causes Saga Holidays deaths

Legionnaires' disease causes Saga Holidays deaths

Two elderly British holidaymakers have died while on holiday in Spain after contracting Legionnaires' disease.

The men died after staying at the Diamante Beach Hotel in Calpe, Saga Holidays said. One died in hospital on Thursday while the other was found dead in a hotel room.

A further three people remain in hospital in Spain while another has been discharged.

Five other people who recently stayed at the same hotel have been treated in hospital in the UK and all but one have been discharged, the operator said.

All people affected are in their 70s and 80s.

A Saga spokesman said: “It was reported to us on Saturday, January 14 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.”

He added: “Five people who had since returned to the UK had been to the doctors and were confirmed as having contracted legionella. Four were discharged and one is still in hospital in the UK and responding to treatment.

“In Spain there were five people treated in hospital, one was treated and discharged and three are responding to treatment in wards. One gentleman was treated in the intensive care unit and passed away.”

He said the company moved all clients to a new hotel after their expert conducted tests on water samples.

Saga will reportedly be offering compensation to holidaymakers who contracted the bacterium and has suspended sending clients to the hotel.

“This is clearly a very upsetting time for families and staff. We have sent extra people to Spain to support them in any way we can. We treat people on our holidays as part of the family and this is a great tragedy and our condolences go out,” the spokesman said.

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