Sa, 25.03.2023

Health Board advises Tartu V Spa customers to monitor their health

Health Board advises Tartu V Spa customers to monitor their health
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Health Board advises Tartu V Spa customers to monitor their health.
Health Board advises Tartu V Spa customers to monitor their health. Photo: Kristjan Teedema

Since the Estonian Health Board detected Legionella bacteria in the samples taken from the water pipes of Tartu V Spa on Wednesday, the content of which exceeded the normal limits in some places by almost 100 times, the Health Board advises customers who have visited the spa center in the past two weeks to monitor their health and, if necessary, consult a doctor.

This was not a routine check, but the Health Board checked various places that an elderly risk group patient with legionellosis, whose health condition is serious, came into contact with.

Head of the southern regional department of the Health Board, Tiia Luht, said that as soon as the Health Board received confirmation of the presence of Legionella bacteria in large quantities, the representatives of both the Kvartal shopping center and V Spa were informed and the provision of services in the spa center was stopped.

«On Thursday we will be sampling even more and trying to find out the extent of the contamination, then V Spa will carry out a chlorine shock together with heating up the boilers and additional cleaning of all kinds of places. V Spa can open its doors to visitors after the test results are within normal limits,» Luht said.

The Health Board advises people who have visited Tartu V Spa in the last two weeks to monitor their health closely. The disease usually begins with high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache and muscle pain. If respiratory symptoms occur within a few weeks after visiting the spa, the person should contact their family doctor. Symptoms generally appear two to 10 days after infection, but this time can extend to up to three weeks.

Irina Dontsenko, adviser at the infectious diseases department of the Health Board, said that legionellosis is an infectious disease of severe course and bacterial origin, the main disease form of which is pneumonia.

«It is a disease with respiratory symptoms. Legionella generally does not cause stomach upset or vomiting,» she said, adding that the disease does not spread from person to person.

Dontsenko also pointed out that the disease is contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets containing the bacteria.

«The disease mainly affects the human respiratory tract, infection is possible only by inhaling water droplets, swallowing or drinking water does not cause illness,» she said.

The disease is diagnosed on the basis of clinical symptoms and laboratory tests. The risk of getting sick is higher in people suffering from some chronic diseases, smokers and the elderly.

It is important to prevent the reproduction of Legionella in water supply systems. The water temperature must be below +20 degrees Celsius in the cold water system and +55 to +60 degrees Celsius in the hot water system. It is important to maintain and regularly check the plumbing systems: preventing water stagnation in pipelines, performing their regular mechanical cleaning and flushing, as well as cleaning and disinfecting faucet and shower heads.