Legionella bacteria found at Tartu's Aura Waterpark and Anne Sauna

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

The Legionella pneumophila bacteria, which can cause an acute form of pneumonia has now been found in all shower areas on the ground floor of the Aura Waterpark in Tartu during an inspection by the Estonian Health Board. Water samples taken from two shower cubicles in the Anne Sauna, in Tartu's Annelinn district, also tested positive for Legionella.

Customers at the Aura Waterpark are currently being directed to use the washrooms on the second floor, where the bacteria has not been detected. A decision regarding the possible closure of the facility is expected to be made shortly.

All of the shower cubicles at Anne Sauna, where the bacteria has been detected will be closed.

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 or Anne Sauna over the past two weeks are advised to closely monitor their health and consult their GP if they notice symptoms of the illness. 

Last week, the Health Board discovered the Legionella pneumophila bacteria in one of the shower cubicles in the women's washroom on the first floor of the Tartu's Aura Waterpark. A week earlier, the Health Board temporarily closed the Tartu V Spa due to the same bacteria having been detected.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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