Ludlow iconic Feathers Hotel closes for now after death from Legionnaire’s Disease

Update 17 November 2017

The good news this week is that the Feathers Hotel has fully reopened. The hotel is an important part of our tourist base and it is good to have it reopened for the Medieval Fayre next weekend. It is also an important community venue (and also serves good beer!).

Main article August 2017

The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow is closed temporarily with immediate effect. This is after Public Health England confirmed that the hotel is responsible for at least two cases of Legionnaire’s Disease. Samples of water taken two days ago confirmed this. One person has died.

Samples taken from the hotel’s plumbing on Monday confirmed that water system contained the same species of Legionella that had made two guests ill. In the first case in April, the guest recovered. A second case in July led to the death of the guest.

All recent guests are being contacted. The incubation period for the disease is under two weeks. You don’t catch it from having a beer or snack in the bar. But I wonder what the last of the guests leaving this lunchtime felt about the stopping at a hotel where one person had already died.

The last coach for now leaves the Feathers

There are a lot of questions here.

Are there people who have suffered, even died, because the disease was not identified? The hotel is frequented by elderly people, many of whom might have had respiratory diseases. Have all those affected been identified? Legionnaire’s Disease is not an everyday disease. How many GPs would recognise it?

Why was Ludlow’s most photographed building and iconic hotel allowed to get into this situation?

What happens to the staff during what may be an extended closure? Jobs in this town are precious and I would like to see a guarantee that staff continue in post until the problems are solved.