Legionnaires' disease found in spa of Auckland building The Sentinel

The discovery follows an investigation into the death of an elderly man who entered the spa.
The discovery follows an investigation into the death of an elderly man who entered the spa. Photo credit: Google Maps

Traces of legionnaires' disease have been found in the spa pool of an Auckland apartment complex following an investigation into an elderly man's death. 

An 80-year-old man had attended a function in February at the spa of the North Shore apartment complex The Sential, before contracting legionnaires' disease, NZME reports. 

He was admitted to North Shore Hospital on March 19, where the disease was discovered in his system three days later, and he died on March 27. 

Rather than spreading from person to person, the bacteria of legionnaires' disease spreads through mist, making spas particularly at risk of the disease being spread through steam. 

Adults over the age of 50 and people with weak immune systems are prone to contracting the form of pneumonia, which can be treated with antibiotics if detected soon enough. 

Health authorities found traces of legionnaires' disease in late March, but building manager Warren Boel, who took over management of the complex on March 5, told NZME it's "highly unlikely" any contagious steam would have come out of the spa. 

He said the pool was regularly chlorinated and cleaned every week, and also closed for quarterly maintenance. 

When the elderly man was diagnosed with legionnaires' disease, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) took water samples from the spa and discovered that it had traces of the disease. 

But no other cases of the disease have been reported since the elderly man's death, and the building's management is said to have dealt with the situation appropriately. 

The man's death is not being investigated further, the coroner's office told NZME, and the Ministry of Health and Auckland Council are not getting involved. 


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