Just had Legionnaires Disease, be careful with your A/C.

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of angie angie 6 years ago.

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  • #55964
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    Well I think it must be about 7 weeks since my last post, well at least that was when I last left Spain to return to leafy Harrogate for what was supposed to be 8 days in the UK.

    Only to be poleaxed by a sickness my family Doctor misdiagnosed as flu (pretty easy thing to do to be fair) which over 6 days later actually became a confirmed case of Legionnaires Disease with then a week in isolation and acute care or whatever it is called now.

    Not very pleasant I have to say.

    All that took several weeks recovery, and well a couple of weeks of couldn’t care less about this forum on top, before I popped in today to check what’s been going on for the last 7 weeks or so, and seems not much, looks like the forum is better off without me!

    Anyway, I just wanted to remind all of you who have properties in Spain to get your A/C checked and maintained regularly, I don’t know if it was my home A/C that did for me, but I know it hasn’t been touched for way too long, and it is most likely it was from an A/C.

    So… if you don’t want to have an extremely unpleasant and really quite dangerous brush with Legionnaires Disease, do yourself a favour, get your A/C serviced on time and regularly. I only found out after the all clear that as many as 1 in 10 die from Legionnaires so… if I haven’t offered any good advice on this forum to date, I can guarantee that it is definitely good advice to check your A/C.

  • #101483
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Nasty nasty illness to get Chris. You have my symapthy.

    I’d wondered where my old sparring partner had gone. 😀 Glad to read that you are on the road to recovery.

  • #101484
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Welcome back Chris. Glad you are back in good health. We all have to live to see at least the next boom… 😀

  • #101488
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Old windscreen wiper water is another culprit. In a study they found that traces of Legionella bacterium were present in one in five windscreen washer reservoirs that did not have screenwash in (the additive kills the bacteria) and no traces of those that did.

    Glad to read you’re now on the mend Chris!

    @mark wrote:

    We all have to live to see at least the next boom… 😀

    Expecting to live that long then Mark? 😆

  • #101489
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Chris, we’ve missed getting our teeth into you, but we will go easy on you as you recuperate 😆

  • #101491
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Chris, we’ve missed getting our teeth into you, but we will go easy on you as you recuperate 😆

    Well I am thinking life is just too short and I am too young to be sort of semi retired right now, so I am looking at going back to work full time and officially from January, so I will only have the freedom to speak my mind here and get beaten up a few more times till then I think.

    But thanks to everyone for their best wishes, much appreciated.

  • #101492
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Glad to read you have made a full recovery Chris.
    My husband caught Legionaires which like yourself our Spanish doctor initially diagnosed and treated as flu. He was hospitalised for 17 days and is very fortunate to have lived to tell the tale. It took him over a year to get completely well again so please take extra care of yourself.
    To be fair most people wouldn’t catch this disease unless of course you are a smoker of certain maturity or have, albeit slight, other medical conditions.
    When H & S investigated it was from the irrigation water we use only for our garden. According to them only aircon via cooling towers as in public buildings (including hospitals) !! is dangerous. So houses and cars are completely safe in that respect.

    Other places are showerheads if not via mains water, fountains in Spain and, as was mentioned previously, windscreen wiper water. The latter being something most of us wouldn’t even think about.

  • #101493
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Just remembered.
    Potting compost also contains the bugs for Legionaires so please everyone take care when initially opening the bag. Recall reading how a gentleman in UK died earlier this year from contracting it this way.

  • #101501
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    thanks melosine, i was getting a tad neurotic looking at my heating/ aircon today –

  • #101507
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    This topic/advice will only add to my neurosis!!
    Sorry to hear of your illness Chris. Wishing you a speedy & full recovery.

  • #101554
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Gosh Chris thats awful. Good to see you up and about again. Take it easy, chill out around the pool (still warm enough here to do so) and rest until January.

  • #101557
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    As Melosine has said , unused shower heads are the quickest way of catching the disease. In our 2nd bathroom ,which is only used when our daughters come I always make a point of putting the shower head in a plastic bag which you tie around the hose , then leave it on the shower base & turn the water to full heat & leave running for at least 5 mins. You can also pour in to the bag ,chlorine before turning it on. You should never operate a shower head that has been unused for a long period especially in spring / summer, without putting it in a bag to prevent water atomisation ! The bacteria can build up & the instant someone operates the shower the atomised water vapour becomes airborne in huge quantities !
    A normal indoor a/c unit should never really have the problem unless you use it for heating , when there ‘s the likelihood of the same conditions occuring. When they refer to air conditioning they are referring to water-cooled condensing towers which are mainly used on industrial & office buildings & which are required by law to be deep-chlorinated every 6 months.

    Glad to hear that you are recovering .

  • #101563
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Great advice gus -lopez.

  • #101568
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @Claire wrote:

    Great advice gus -lopez.

    Yep really good advice all round from everyone I think. As ever on this forum.

    Me, I played golf three times since Saturday, so I think that is the recovery officially – hopefully – confirmed as done and dusted. Thanks for the best wishes, and I for one have put some washing up liquid in the car window screen wiper, but like Melosine says, you have also to be a certain type to catch the thing and also incredibly unlucky I think.

    Three more rounds to jam in now before returning to UK on Monday. Eeeehhh, you can knock Spain all you like but my goodness even while working this week, the recreation and weather, change of pace and perspective has been a massive tonic.

    And talking of tonic, going to have one of those this evening with a gin thrown in too, and an extra one too, because our local bar has finally woken up to the notion of doing second one free during November as a bit of an incentive – still think the price of a single G&T is a liberty almost everywhere though!

  • #101577
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I don’t know Chris, there you are already playing too much golf and drinking G & T’s, thoroughly recovered and I can’t think of anything to critisise you for. Help me someone? 😉

    Don’t say we’re growing fond of you now Chris!

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