Coming just days after the Feathers Hotel was closed after a guest died from Legionnaires’ disease, this is a worrying development.
What we know so far, we only know from the BBC. It is saying that this is a different strain from the Legionella at the Feathers and no one is at risk. I have been emailing public health and Shropshire Council officials since before 11am this morning. There has been no response. That’s shameful.
I am not a medical man. But I have been talking about Legionnaires’ disease with medical professionals over the last few days. It is unlikely that you can catch this bug from just grabbing a pint at the bar, swigging a coffee in the hospital café or going to the toilet. Legionella is prevalent but concentrates in badly maintained air conditioning, filthy shower heads and the like. That’s when it can become a killer.
Legionella can be serious. It kills 10-15% of people who catch it. Some reports suggest that the death rate is higher. But there are also variants of the disease that do not cause pneumonia and are usually no worse than a dose of flu.
There is no information available from the county’s health leaders on what is happening at Ludlow Hospital. I find that shameful.
Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a practising nurse, said today:
“We need to know what is happening here.
“That means we need an urgent and well informed inquiry. It should meet immediately and set out plans to call witnesses who can explain what has happened in Ludlow. It should ensure that all the procedures are in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
“Should we see another incident of this type, Shropshire Council and the health authorities must improve the communications. I can’t find anything about this on the website of the health trust that runs Ludlow Community Hospital. There is nothing on Shropshire Council’s website either.
“This is not good enough in our 24-hour news age.”