9 March 2012
Wellness centres can make people seriously ill, a study of Legionnaires' disease suggests. The analysis of almost 1500 cases over 8 years in the Netherlands identified suspected sources of infection for each patient. Wellness centres were ranked 11th on a list of possible sites, being implicated in just 2 per cent of cases.
However, testing at these centres detected Legionella in 85 per cent of cases, making them "remarkably higher" than at sites such as cooling towers (55 per cent), hospitals (50 per cent) and hotels (40 per cent).
A mix of saunas, whirlpools and other health spa facilities was a "Legionella-friendly habitat" the authors said.
"Wellness centres are not merely the health-promoting facilities they are often seen as," they said.
Last Reviewed: 09 March 2012