A Liverpool man contracted Legionnaires disease on holiday in Bulgaria in August 2015. It’s a terrible deadly disease. Luckily he survived but he was in hospital in a foreign land for several week and is still suffering after effects.
But what can you do? You don’t want your holidays plans spoiled by worrying about what might (but probably won’t) happen. You go away in good faith expecting that the facilities that you’re staying at will be in a lovely healthy environment … and usually they are. So, whilst we can’t, and shouldn’t, live in a bubble of protection, here are 3 simple things we can do to reduce the chances of exposure to nasty bacteria in the water.
- Run the hot and cold taps for a few minutes when you first arrive at your hotel or appartment before you get in the shower. This will help to flush out any nastys, but make sure you leave the bathroom, whilst the taps are running.
- If you see any bluey green slime (otherwise known as biofilm), point it out to the staff and ask for a proper clean. Biofilm is food for bacteria.
- If you suspect your air conditioning is broken or poorly maintained, report it to management and don’t use it. Get it fixed!
Use common sense. Legionella is airborne and is impossible to see, but many other diseases and infections can be picked up from dirty water. If the water looks dirty, scummy or polluted – stay well clear!