Legionnaires’ Disease Warning Update for Bali Travelers

The Government of Western Australia Department of Health has provided an updated disease warning for Bali travelers.

The Department of Health has been notified of two additional Western Australians who have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease following travel to Bali.

There have now been 13 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in Australians associated with the central area in Kuta since August 2010; 9 from Western Australia.

Communicable Disease Control Director, Dr Paul Armstrong, said while the exact source of the disease remained unknown, all but one of the cases had stayed at the Ramayana Resort and Spa Hotel in the central Kuta area.

“The Indonesian Government has been advised of the Australian cases by the Australian Government, and is working with the World Health Organisation to investigate the possible source of the disease,” Dr Armstrong said.

“The investigating team has taken steps to disinfect potential sources at the hotel, but it is not yet clear that this has been successful,” he said.

Dr Armstrong said the early symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are typically similar to severe ‘flu-like’ illness.
“Early symptoms may include fever, chills, muscle soreness, headaches, tiredness, reduced appetite and diarrhoea, along with dry cough and breathlessness,” Dr Armstrong said.

The Department of Health is advising Western Australians who have recently returned from Bali, and have developed flu-like symptoms within 10 days of their return, to contact their GP.

“Legionnaires’ disease is treated with specific antibiotics, and while most people recover, some people may develop severe pneumonia requiring hospitalisation.”

Legionnaires’ disease most often affects middle-aged and elderly people, particularly those who smoke or who have lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease or a weakened immune system.

Legionella pneumophilia is a type of bacteria commonly transmitted by the inhalation of water droplets from contaminated warm water environments such as:

  • air conditioning cooling towers in large buildings and evaporative air conditioners
  • showers and warm water systems
  • spa pools
  • misting or droplet sprays
  • fountains

Legionnaires’ disease cannot be caught from other people or from animal contact.

For more information on Legionnaires’ disease visit: Legionnaires’ disease in Bali – Frequently Asked Questions.