GIDEON blog

Free 15 Day Trial Latest Updates Video Tutorials
Subscribe , x j

Legionellosis in Spain

A recent outbreak in Alcoy reminds us that rates of legionellosis have been increasing in Spain. The following background data are abstracted from the GIDEON e-book series. [1,2]

Graph 1 summarizes disease incidence and rates per 100,000 population.


Graph Notes:
1. 47 cases were reported in the Balearic Islands during 2001 to 2003.
2. 460 cases were reported among Spanish tourists during 2002 to 2006; 30 in 2005; 73 in 2006.
Individual years:
1993 – Included 57 cases in Cataluna
2003 – 5.82 per 100,000 in the Balearic Islands

As seen in Graph 2, this increase has also affected tourists in Spain.

Graph Notes:
1. 281 cases were acquired by foreign tourists in Spain during 1987 to 1995 – 67% of these from Great Britain. 37% of these were acquired in the Balearic Islands.
2. 627 cases were acquired by foreign tourists in Spain during 1989 to 2001.
3. 6,411 cases of legionellosis were reported during 1999 to 2004 – 565 (9%) involving Spanish travelers, and 426 involving foreign travelers in Spain.
4. 73 travel-associated cases were reported in 2006; 68 in 2007.
Individual years:
2003 – Included nine Spanish citizens touring within Spain.

Legionellosis accounts for 3% of community-acquired pneumonia in Palma de Mallorca (1992 to 1994)

Outbreaks – an overview:
– 1989 to 1998 – 55 outbreaks of legionellosis were reported – 36 of these associated with tourism, 11 nosocomial and 8 community-acquired.
– A single hotel in Benidorm was implicated in the infection of 3 tourists in 1989, 1 in 1990, 2 in 1995, 1 in 1996; 3 in 1997; 8 (1 fatal) in 1998.
– 1990 to 1991 – 54 outbreaks involving 805 cases (and additional 1,358 sporadic cases) were reported.
– 1990 to 2004 – 118 outbreaks involving 690 patients were reported in Catalonia – 35.6% involving water towers, and 14.4% involving water distribution systems in public buildings.
– 1999 to 2001 – Four outbreaks affected over 160 people in Alcoy.
– 2000 – Seven outbreaks were reported – 4 of these nosocomial. An additional 4 clusters were reported among tourists to Spain.
– 2000 – Girona reported 32 cases (3 fatal); Barcelona 48 (1 fatal); Vigo 30 (4 fatal) and Alcala de Henares 249 (11 fatal).
– 2001 to 2003 – 135 cases (10 fatal) in 46 clusters were acquired by European travelers to Spain, including 85 in 2002
– 1999 to 2003 – Eight outbreaks (approximately 300 cases) were reported in Alcoy, Alicante.
– 2003 – 55 outbreaks (247 cases) were reported.

Notable outbreaks:
1973 – An outbreak (89 cases, 3 fatal) was associated with a hotel in Benidorm.
1978 (publication year) – An outbreak (2 fatal cases) was associated with a hotel in Benidorm.
1983 – An outbreak (35 cases) in Valencia was related to contaminated shower heads and toilet tanks.
1984 (publication year) – An outbreak was reported in Los Castillejos.
1984 – An outbreak (32 cases) was reported among Dutch tourists at a hotel in Pineda de Mar (Barcelona region, Spain).
1988 – An outbreak (56 cases) was reported in Barcelona.
1992 (publication year) – An outbreak (6 cases) in a private apartment building in Zaragoza was associated with potable water.
1992 (publication year) – An outbreak was reported in a hospital in Badalona.
1993 – An outbreak (4 British tourists and 1 French tourist) was reported at a hotel in Spain.
1994 – An outbreak (20 cases) was reported in L’Espluga de Francoli, Tarragona.
1996 – An outbreak (260 cases, 197 hospitalized, 14 fatal) was reported in Madrid region (Alcala de Henares). This was the largest outbreak reported in Europe to date.
1996 – An outbreak (4 cases) was reported among British tourists at a hotel in Minorca.
1998 – An outbreak (3 cases, all fatal) was reported in a hospital in Zaragoza.
1999 – An outbreak (6 cases) was reported among foreign tourists to a spa in Cestona (Guipuzcoa Province).
1999 – An outbreak (7 cases, 1 fatal) was associated with a hotel outbreak in Benidorm.
2000 – An outbreak (70 cases, 2 fatal) was reported in Alcoy (Valencia region).
2000 – An outbreak (28 cases) was associated with a cooling tower in the region of a hospital in Vigo (Galicia).
2000 – An outbreak (54 cases, 17 hospitalized, 3 fatal) was reported in the “La Barceloneta” district of Barcelona.
2001 (publication year) – An outbreak (2 cases, both fatal) was reported among mechanics working on a cargo ship in the port of Barcelona.
2001 – An outbreak of 751 clinical cases (449 confirmed, 2 fatal) was reported in Santa Maria de Gracia (Murcia) – the world’s largest recorded outbreak to that time. The source of infection was an outdoor hospital cooling tower.
2001 – An outbreak (18 cases, 3 fatal) was reported from a hospital in Pamplona. A contaminated hot water system was implicated.
2002 – An outbreak (124 cases, 2 fatal) in Matara, Catalonia was related to a local cooling tower.
2003 – Outbreaks (25 total cases, 1 fatal) were reported in Valencia.
2003 – An outbreak (4 cases) was reported at a spa on Tenerife. An additional suspect case was reported in a Venezuelan visitor to the spa.
2004 – An outbreak (28 confirmed cases, 1 fatal) was reported at a hospital in Zaragoza. Contaminated cooling towers were implicated.
2004 – An outbreak (33 cases, 2 fatal) in Vallarca, Barcelona was caused by a contaminated air conditioning system at a private clinic.
2005 – An outbreak (19 cases, 3 fatal) was reported in Barcelona.
2005 – An outbreak (28 cases, including 21 foreigners – 0 fatal) was associated with a shopping center in Torrevieja.
2005 – An outbreak (55 cases, 3 fatal) was associated with a cooling tower in Catalonia.
2006 – An outbreak (146 cases, 0 fatal) in Pamplona was ascribed to contaminated cooling towers.
2006 – An outbreak (5 cases) was reported among ceramic workers in Castellon.
2006 – An outbreak (12 cases) in Catalonia was related to a contaminated mist machine.
2007 (publication year) – An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease was reported among immunosuppressed patients at a cancer centre in Barcelona.
2007 to 2008 – An outbreak (3 cases) on a hospital surgical ward was associated with a contaminated oxygen humidifier.

References:
1. Berger SA. Infectious Diseases of Spain, 516 pp. Gideon Informatics, Inc. 2010, http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/country/infectious-diseases-of-spain/
2. Berger SA. Legionellosis: Global Status, 84 pp. Gideon Informatics, Inc. 2010, http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/disease/legionellosis-global-status/

Comments are closed.

GIDEON Sign In