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Legionnaire's Disease Outbreak Warning In North Thailand

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Outbreak warning in the North

By The Nation

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About 40 per cent of the airconditioning units and water supply system in 100 hotels and business establishments in the North were found to be carrying the Legionella bacteria, posing the risk of an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease, a researcher at Chiang Mai's health promotion centre said yesterday.

The first instance of Legionnaire's disease in Thailand was found in 1995, when a British tourist was found infected in Pattaya. Later, in 1999 three Britons were found infected in Chiang Mai and then in 2006, six tourists were found infected in Phuket, Injai Wongrattanasathien said. There has been a significant increase in the number of patients in the North, though the figures cannot be revealed as it would hurt tourism, Injai said.

To control and prevent infections, hotels and business establishments have been urged to keep their airconditioning and water system clean, and for people - especially the elderly and smokers - to wear facemasks when entering contaminated sites.

The symptoms of Legionnaire's disease are similar to flu, though the patient could die from severe lung infection within three weeks if treatment is not sought right away, he said.

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-- The Nation 2010-07-22

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Quote; though the figures cannot be revealed as it would hurt tourism, Injai said

I think if the Tsunami, the coup, Unrest in the south, Yellow shirs airport siezure, farang hand gliders in Pattaya, Red shirts, Government state of emergency etc etc etc doesnt't scare them away I'm pretty sure that this won't

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I used to stay at a hotel in Bangkok where I would get sick every time I stayed there. I suspected that there was some kind of bacteria in the air con and stopped staying there and stopped getting sick when I visited Bangkok..

Edited by Ulysses G.
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To not reveal the numbers as it would hurt tourism is........ words fail me.

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Just a couple of points

1) Why haven't the the hotels with contamination been shut down.

2) Have recent guest and hotel staff been told of the contamination so they have the option of getting a check up?

3) If the elderly and smokers need to wear masks entering a contaminated site. How do they know the site is contaminated?? Did the hotel put up a sign in reception advising of Legionnaires??

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I made it a rule to myself , to clean the aircon filter when I stayed at hotels and guest houses , it is a simple task to remove it and wash it thoroughly ander running water . Why did I do that you may ask ? The first guest house I stayed at , I sprayed air cleanser into the back of the unit , nothing came out at the front vent , I asked the manager to have the filter cleaned he said "They are all cleaned on a regular schedule " . I went back up to my room and removed the filter , it was plugged almost solid so I took it in a plastic bag to show him , I explained to him that this made the aircon very inificiant and cost him a lot of money when clients used the aircon , he brought in people to clean all of the aircon units , I doubt very much they had been cleaned in years .

You should all be aware of the Thai policy with almost all things 'Do not fix it 'til it is broken ' .

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Seems like bad reporting. The headline is a bit misleading. There is more of a chance of dying from drinking and driving than the threat of logionnaire's disease. Which do you suppose happens more. If you add the above logic,

Why haven't all the bars been closed?

Why is drinking still allowed in Thailand?

Should more checkpoints be set up to check for drunk drivers?

haha...I'm trolling a bit...please don't take me seriously. :jap:

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To not reveal the numbers as it would hurt tourism is........ words fail me.

You gotta remember that this is Thailand 'TIT'

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Just a couple of points

1) Why haven't the the hotels with contamination been shut down.

2) Have recent guest and hotel staff been told of the contamination so they have the option of getting a check up?

3) If the elderly and smokers need to wear masks entering a contaminated site. How do they know the site is contaminated?? Did the hotel put up a sign in reception advising of Legionnaires??

Why shut the hotels down? its a simple matter of maintenance on the air and water systems in these hotels; this would obviate the need for 2) and 3). No need to use a hammer to kill a mosquito...

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'richard10365' timestamp='1279767857' post='3764834']

Seems like bad reporting. The headline is a bit misleading. There is more of a chance of dying from drinking and driving than the threat of logionnaire's disease. Which do you suppose happens more. If you add the above logic,

Why haven't all the bars been closed?

Why is drinking still allowed in Thailand?

Should more checkpoints be set up to check for drunk drivers?

haha...I'm trolling a bit...please don't take me seriously. :jap:

In reference to your tongue-in-cheek comment , I think it is good to report this type of irresponsibility on the part of hotels.guest-houses etc , this problem is a customer concern issue , something many Thai show no concern for , and in this particular case , could cause a lot of people to become ill , the premises should have been closed IMMEDIATLY considering the health risk , but alas , another showing of the lack of concern for tourist but more concern about the bad publicity .

As to the drinking and driving killing people , those concerned are well aware of the risks they take doing either , they have a personal choice , the hotel users are totally unaware of the risk supplied to them by the hoteliers due to thier negligence , a totally different scenario in my books .

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As if a Thai hotel will go to the expense of cleaning umpteen air conditioners in their hotel. Why do people bother writing this shit, nothing will ever be done about it....

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Legionnaires Disease has been on the increase in Thailand for the last 2 years, and whilst one of the known reasons is due to AC units not been cleaned etc one of the most common causes here in Thailand occurs when rooms are left unoccupied for long periods and stagnant water left in pipes. Therefore providing ideal conditions for legionella to thrive and multiply.

We obtained an invaluable 14 point hotel checklist for the control and preventative maintenance of Legionella from Safety In Asia based in Bangkok and its free ! - There website is www.safetyinasia.com

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I made it a rule to myself , to clean the aircon filter when I stayed at hotels and guest houses , it is a simple task to remove it and wash it thoroughly ander running water . Why did I do that you may ask ? The first guest house I stayed at , I sprayed air cleanser into the back of the unit , nothing came out at the front vent , I asked the manager to have the filter cleaned he said "They are all cleaned on a regular schedule " . I went back up to my room and removed the filter , it was plugged almost solid so I took it in a plastic bag to show him , I explained to him that this made the aircon very inificiant and cost him a lot of money when clients used the aircon , he brought in people to clean all of the aircon units , I doubt very much they had been cleaned in years .

You should all be aware of the Thai policy with almost all things 'Do not fix it 'til it is broken ' .

I believe Legionnaire's Disease is to do with the cooling systems rather than the in room aircon where the air is usually cooled and re-cycled. Wiki entry:

Legionellosis infection normally occurs after inhaling an aerosol (suspension of fine particles in air) containing Legionella bacteria. Such particles could originate from any infected water source. When mechanical action breaks the surface of the water, small water droplets are formed, which evaporate very quickly. If these droplets contain bacteria, the bacteria cells remain suspended in the air, invisible to the naked eye but small enough to be inhaled into the lungs.[7] This often occurs in poorly ventilated areas such as prisons where a condensating air conditioner can spread it throughout the entire room, infecting anyone not immune to the strand of bacteria. Potential sources of such contaminated water include cooling towers used in industrial cooling water systems as well as in large central air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, hot water systems, showers, whirlpool spas, architectural fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice making machines, misting equipment, and similar disseminators that draw upon a public water supply. The disease may also be spread in a hot tub if the filtering system is defective.[8] Freshwater ponds, creeks, and ornamental fountains are potential sources of Legionella.[9] The disease is particularly associated with hotels, cruise ships and hospitals with old, poorly maintained pipework and cooling systems. A study published by the European Journal of Epidemiology points to automotive windshield washing systems as a source, recommending the addition of an antibacterial agent to the system's reservoir.

Cleaning a filter in a split system is unlikely to help but might make you feel better by taking other pollutants out of the air.

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"There has been a significant increase in the number of patients in the North, though the figures cannot be revealed as it would hurt tourism" .... how about hurting the visitors???

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