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legionnaire's disease

ALSo read: Legionellosis

Evening Post, England



12:00 - 02 April 2003

The brother of a man who died after contracting legionnaires' disease has said he is disappointed with the outcome of an inquest into his death.

David Lewis spoke after a coroner ruled that the death of his brother Chris Lewis was due to natural causes. Mr Lewis died after staying at the Woodville Hotel in Mansfield Road, Carrington.

His twin brother David Lewis, from West Yorkshire, said after the inquest: "It was a disappointing result as there was no one held accountable for his death.

"I feel as if there are still more questions that need answering, and I won't be able to rest until checks have been put in place to stop this happening again."

The inquest heard that Mr Lewis, 44, a sales executive from Eastbourne, stayed at the hotel for a few days last April.

He developed a fever with a high temperature, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and a headache.

After returning to his Eastbourne home with partner Claire Ledwith, his condition worsened.

Mr Lewis was admitted to Eastbourne District General Hospital and was discharged with antibiotics for an infection. His condition did not improve and he was readmitted.

Miss Ledwith told the inquest in Eastbourne yesterday: "Chris was fit and healthy. He would phone me every night. He said he was tired but he wouldn't complain. He wouldn't want to worry me by telling me something was wrong."

He received medication in hospital, but died on April 27. Tests showed he had contracted the most common strain of legionella bacteria. This strain was detected in his hotel room.

Tests carried out by Nottingham City Council's health and safety department showed the bacteria was in the toilet cistern and wash-hand basin.

But routine checks revealed there was nothing wrong with the hotel's water system.

Tony Smith, who ran the hotel with his family, said there had never been any cases of legionnaires' disease at his hotel before and the traces of bacteria had been exterminated.

He said: "I'm ashamed to say that I thought legionnaires' disease happened in foreign countries. We just weren't aware."

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze, said: "What happened here is that a disease has run its full course and resulted in the death of Mr Lewis."

Woodville Hotel Ltd has subsequently gone into liquidation. This is a creditors' voluntary liquidation.

Also, please read:

Legionellosis Incidence Rises with Abundant Rain in Warm Water

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