A woman in her late 60s has died after contracting Legionnaires’ disease at the Feathers hotel in Ludlow.
The unnamed woman stayed at the privately-owned hotel in July. A woman in her early 70s who was diagnosed with the disease in April has since recovered.
The three-AA-star, 40-bedroom property has temporarily closed as a precautionary measure following lab test results linking bacteria found in water samples from the hotel plumbing to the two women who became ill.
Dr David Kirrage, consultant with PHE West Midlands health protection team, said: “On the discovery of the presence of Legionella at the hotel, the management implemented public health advice in order to minimise exposure to guests and staff. It closed the affected rooms, disinfected the water system and employed heating contractors to investigate the boilers and pipework.
“Isolated cases of Legionella infection are reported to us on a regular basis and investigated as a matter of routine. However… extensive work is now needed to overhaul and treat the plumbing in such an old building.”
Legionnaires’ disease is a rare but potentially life threatening illness. Early symptoms include a flu-like illness with muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever which can lead to pneumonia. It cannot be passed from person to person.
The hotel said on Facebook: “Firstly the hotel, management and staff would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of the lady who we understand has sadly passed away as a result of this incident.
“We take the health and safety of our guests extremely seriously at the Feathers and as soon as we learnt from the Environmental Health Office of the issue related to our water system we have worked closely with them to investigate and carry out remedial action where necessary.
“We decided that it is best to close the hotel temporarily to enable us to complete the works as quickly and safely as possible. We expect to reopen as soon as the new plumbing is tested and approved.”
Councillor Lee Chapman, cabinet member for adult social care, health and housing said: “The teams has been working closely with the proprietor of the hotel and under the direction of Public Health England to investigate the incident and ensure the right measures are in place to resolve this issue. It is reassuring to know that the proprietor is taking the necessary steps and arrangement to do this.”
Videos from The Caterer archives