Legionella bacteria now detected at Tartu's Aura Waterpark

Aura Waterpark (Veekeskus) in Tartu.
Aura Waterpark (Veekeskus) in Tartu. Source: ERR

The Legionella pneumophila bacteria, which can cause a serious form of pneumonia, has now been detected in a shower cubicle at Tartu's Aura Waterpark. Last week, the Estonian Health Board closed Tartu V Spa after high levels of the same bacteria were found there.

Following the bacteria's detection, shower cubicles in both the male and female washrooms on the first floor have now been closed. However, an Aura Waterpark representative told ERR that the other showering facilities are open and remain in use.

"The partitioned shower cubicles in both the women's and men's washrooms have been closed," a representative of Aura Waterpark wrote on social media. All showers will be reopened only when water samples show that the bacteria levels have returned to normal, the representative added.  

According to Irina Dontšenko, adviser to the Estonian Health Board's Department of Infectious Diseases, Legionnaires' disease is an acute infectious disease of bacterial origin, which can cause a serious type of pneumonia.

Early symptoms include a high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache and/or muscle aches. Those who develop more severe respiratory symptoms within a couple of weeks of having visited V Spa are advised to contact their family doctor.

Legionnaires' disease does not usually cause abdominal discomfort or vomiting and is not contagious, meaning it cannot be spread from person to person. It is contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets containing the bacterium.

People who have visited the Aura Waterpark over the past two weeks are advised to closely monitor their health and consult their GP if they notice symptoms of the disease. This particularly applies to those, who have visited the swimming pool and/or water park and used the partitioned shower cubicles on the first floor, especially on the women's side, which is closest to the sauna.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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