Swindon leisure centre on Legionella alert

Potentially lethal Legionella bacteria have been found in showers at a leisure centre in Swindon.

The bug, which can cause Legionnaires' disease, was found following a routine check at The Link centre in the town.

Legionnaires' disease

  • The bacterial disease causes a lung infection or pneumonia
  • It is caused by a bacteria known as Legionella pneumophila, which is found in natural and man-made water systems
  • Symptoms first appear between two and 10 days after exposure to the bacteria and if identified quickly can be treated with antibiotics
  • The disease and bacterium were discovered after an outbreak at an American Legion convention in Philadelphia in 1976, which led to the name

Source: BBC Health

Swindon Borough Council said higher than normal levels of the bacteria had been found but the "health of centre users had not been put at risk".

Temporary showers have been installed and the centre remains fully open, a spokesman said.

The Link Centre is one of the county's largest sports centres, which features the only ice rink in Wiltshire.

A council spokesman said: "The tests for the bacteria were carried out as a matter of routine and have caught the problem at an early stage.

"All other water supplies in the Link, such as from taps and to lavatories, and the swimming pool, are unaffected."

He added the authority would be investigating the cause of the higher-than-normal readings with specialist contractors and "work to resolve the issue as soon as possible".

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