Tayside and Central Scotland

Landmark hotel illness 'likely' to be Pontiac fever

Legionella pneumophila
Image caption Pontiac fever is caused by the same bacteria as Legionnaires' disease

Health officials investigating a Dundee hotel have said staff and guests may have contracted a milder form of Leigionnaires' disease.

Almost 100 guests and staff at the Landmark Dundee have experienced flu-like symptoms over the past few weeks.

And one man is being treated in hospital for Legionnaires' after visiting the hotel's leisure club.

But NHS Tayside said most of the victims were likely to have contracted a condition called Pontiac Fever.

No further cases of Legionnaires' have been confirmed by the local health board and Dundee City Council officials investigating the illnesses.

Muscle aches

Dr Finn Romanes, NHS Tayside consultant in public health medicine, said: "The investigation is considering all circumstances surrounding those people we know to have fallen ill.

"It now appears likely that, in a number of cases, illness could be caused by a condition called Pontiac fever.

"Pontiac fever is a short-lived, flu-like illness caused by exposure to legionella bacteria."

Dr Romanes said symptoms included fever, headaches and muscle aches.

Unlike Legionnaires' disease, Pontiac fever does not cause pneumonia and the illness usually clears up without treatment in two to three days, the consultant said.

Blood test

But Dr Romanes added that none of the patients had yet been confirmed as having the fever.

"This is mainly because it is difficult to diagnose and requires at least two separate blood tests over a period of two or more weeks," he said.

"This underlines the importance of seeking medical attention and returning for a repeat blood test if advised by your doctor."

Dr Romanes said anyone who had come forward to inform the health board of their illness should keep in touch with their GP after their initial tests.

NHS Tayside has also asked anyone who has experienced symptoms of Legionnaires' disease to contact their doctor or NHS 24.

Legionnaires' symptoms include include high fever with sweating, severe headache, shortness of breath and a pain in the side of the chest.

Victims also suffer from a cough which is either dry or with greenish, thick mucous and muscle aches and pains.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites