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23 July 2019 Family contract suspected Legionnaires’ disease after trip to Healax Salt Caves Spa

posted 23 Jul 2019, 07:01 by Ian Clarenbone

A Southampton family were left with difficulty breathing, fever and sickness after visiting a salt spa. The Southampton mother, 48, her two sons, 17 and 18, daughter, eight, and niece, 24, all fell ill after visiting Healax Salt Caves Spa in Bournemouth. The family day out became a nightmare when her niece and the children developed symptoms including fevers, hot and cold sweats, coughing, chest pain and headaches after contracting suspected Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever following a visit to the spa.

The mother began to feel unwell after visiting the spa, with a temperature of 40°C. Diarrhoea and abdominal pains were followed by lethargy and confusion. Her symptoms were so severe, that she was admitted to hospital via ambulance.

The Southampton family, along with other people from Bournemouth, have instructed specialist Public Health lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the circumstances of their illnesses. Irwin Mitchell have been instructed by a number of families suffering with symptoms after visiting the spa between June 11 to 15.

Speaking on behalf of her family, the Southampton mother said: “When I received the letter about the Public Health investigation I burst into tears. I took my children and niece somewhere nice as a treat, and this has happened. I feel as though I made my children sick by taking them there. It makes me feel dirty because we do not know what we have been exposed to. It broke my heart, hearing my children call out for me, when I was so physically weak, that I could not help them. I felt so guilty being in hospital knowing that they were at home, ill, and needing me.”

The spa is currently closed pending an investigation by Public Health England, with letters sent to those affected, asking them to follow the advice provided.

Other visitors to the spa are now being urged by Public Health England to come forward, due to concerns that some people may be suffering with illness but are unaware of the cause, or source of their symptoms.

Amandeep Dhillon, a partner and head of the specialist Public Health at Irwin Mitchell, said: “As part of our investigations, we are keen to hear from anyone who may have visited the spa this year and also have suffered from similar symptoms, as they may be able to help with our enquiries.”