Health warning for Bali travellers

PIC: File

Western Australians travelling to or returning from Bali are being warned of a potential risk of Legionnaires’ disease.

The Department of Health has issued a warning for those staying at the island’s Ramayana Resort and Spa in central Kuta.

The alert follows the fourth notified case of Legionnaires' disease in a Western Australian holidaying in Bali since February.

Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia, most often affecting the middle-aged and elderly, particularly those who smoke or who have lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease or a weakened immune system.

Director of Communicable Disease Control at the Department of Health Dr Paul Armstrong said that although the exact source of the disease remained unknown, all four WA cases had stayed at the Ramayana Resort and Spa – and two other cases from elsewhere in Australia had stayed at the same hotel or one adjacent.

The hotel was linked to earlier outbreaks in 2010 and 2011 which affected at least 13 Australians – 12 of whom confirmed staying at the Ramayana Resort and Spa.

Dr Armstrong said early symptoms of Legionnaires' disease were typically a 'flu-like' illness.

“They may include fever, chills, muscle soreness, headaches, tiredness, reduced appetite and diarrhoea, along with dry cough and breathlessness," he said.

“We advise any Western Australian who develops flu-like symptoms within 10 days of returning from Bali to contact their GP.

"Legionnaires' disease is treated with specific antibiotics, and while most people recover, some may develop severe pneumonia requiring hospitalisation."

Legionella pneumophilia is a type of bacteria commonly transmitted by the inhalation of water droplets from contaminated warm water environments such as air conditioning, showers and warm water systems, spas and misting or droplet sprays.

Legionnaires' disease cannot be caught from people or animals

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