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Corfu holiday disease alert

Corfu holiday disease alert.

UK tourists on holiday in Corfu have been warned to take extra care after a number of cases of Legionnaires' disease has come to light.

Health workers say they know of nine cases of the disease found in holiday visitors to Corfu in recent months.

They say that, although patients all have a history of recent travel to Corfu, a UK source for the infection cannot be ruled out.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has now launched an investigation along with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and Greek public health authorities to establish the source.

The HPA advises people going on holiday to Corfu not to cancel holiday plans. But it warns them to be aware of signs and symptoms of Legionnaires' disease.

Although rare in the UK Legionnaires' disease, which is caused by the legionella bacterium, can lead to severe pneumonia and to complications that may be fatal.

The bacterium is often spread through contaminated water droplets in cooling systems, shower heads, and taps but cannot be spread from person to person.

Symptoms can start between two and 14 days after exposure and often begin with a flu-like illness. Early treatment with antibiotics is important, especially for the elderly.

An HPA spokesman said: "We are concerned that UK residents travelling to Corfu should be aware of this potential risk, however we are not suggesting that people change their holiday plans.

"Legionnaires' disease is very rare so the risk is low. We are continuing our investigations so that we can provide the best advice for travellers and minimise the risk of further cases."

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  • Rachel

    We were in Corfu for 4 days from 16th September 2017 until the 21st on Wednesday I encountered a tickly throat. By Thursday I had lost my voice. Returning home on Thursday 21st I felt very sick so did my partner. Started feeling unwell on Saturday 23rd had full blown flue which lasted until Friday 29th but then came the wheezing and pain in my chest! Doctor gave me antibiotics and steroids. Its now Wednesday 4th October and I feel awful...coughing...retching...still wheezing...and feel as though the flu has returned.

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