Legionella suspicion: Neusäßer Titania-Bad near Augsburg closed
Bacteria were found in the bathing water in a thermal bath in Neusäß in the Augsburg district. The health department was concerned about the high concentration of Legionella. A 50-year-old woman may have been infected with the bacteria and is seriously ill. Doctors are also anticipating further illnesses, according to media reports on Tuesday.
High concentration of legionella despite chlorine in the water? As reported by the health department, the first case of illness was reported on Monday. According to current information, it is a 50-year-old woman from the northern district of Augsburg. When visiting the "Titania" thermal baths in Neusäß, the woman bathed in the possibly contaminated water and later showed the first signs of Legionnaires' disease, the responsible health authority said. The authority expects further illnesses.
During the investigation, the employees of the health department were very concerned about the high concentration of bacteria in the children's and thermal pools of the thermal baths. Legionella usually does not occur in chlorinated water because the chemical kills the bacteria, a spokesman for the health department said. Only a very high concentration can explain the find. Even the head of the thermal bath has so far had no explanation for the bacterial load in the water. In addition, a laboratory independent of the health authority took water samples, the evaluation of which is expected later this week.
Legionella are found in small amounts in the groundwater. However, the bacteria only become a health risk when they multiply, for example in standing water that is 35-40 degrees warm.
Legionella can cause pneumonia Legionella bacteria were first diagnosed in 1976 at a veteran meeting of the American Legion at the Bellevue-Standfort Hotel in Philadelphia. Of the 4,400 delegates, 180 were infected with the bacteria. 29 men died of severe pneumonia, which is one of the consequences of an infection with Legionella. Legionnaires' disease was in full swing when the authorities finally realized it was an epidemic. The bacteria are now widespread worldwide.
A distinction is made between two types of legionellosis when infected with Legionella. On the one hand, those affected can contract Legionnaires' disease, which is passed on by droplet infection and causes life-threatening pneumonia. On the other hand, this can cause the normally milder Pontiac fever. In Germany, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) registered a total of 639 legionellosis cases in 2011.
Legionella in drinking water Last summer, the limit for legionella in Munich was exceeded to such an extent that the health authority imposed a shower ban on 320 households. Citizens of the Olympic Village were affected. The bacteria usually multiply if the water is in the pipes for too long. Therefore, the pipelines were first cleaned and partially replaced. The residents of the Munich Olympic Village had no choice but to wait until the concentration of Legionella fell back to an acceptable level. (ag)