Legionnaires’ threat closes sports centre

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LEGIONNAIRES: Mayor Agustin Navarro (left) at the emergency press conference

BENIDORM’S Palau d’Esports l’Illa sports centre has been closed as a precautionary measure following a possible Legionnaires’ outbreak.

Four people are currently being treated at Villajoyosa Hospital, revealed the mayor, Agustin Navarro, at an emergency press conference.

All four had recently used the swimming pool and showers at the complex, Navarro said, while nine more suspected cases have tested negative.

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Faced with a potential outbreak it was decided to close the entire sports centre which is municipally-owned but run by a concessionary.

Samples have been taken at 50 different points in the centre, Navarro revealed as he called for calm. “The focus is situated in a specific place located well away from the town centre and does not affect the population,” he said.

Although still waiting for results of analyses, everything pointed to the swimming pool showers, the mayor added, and the town hall was co-ordinating all preventive measures with the regional government’s health department.

“Legionnaires’ is not contagious but has a 10 to 12-day incubation period so if anyone who used the Palau has fever symptoms they should go to their health centre,” the mayor advised.

Once the focus of the infection is located, more samples would be taken and all installations disinfected. “But until we can guarantee 200 per cent safety, the Palau will not reopen,” Navarro declared.

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