1. ITV Report

Showers banned after hospital Legionella bacteria alert

The potentially lethal Legionella bacteria can cause a form of pneumonia called Legionnaires. Photo: NHS Online

Showers have been banned and bottled drinking water provided on two wards at the Leicester General Hospital, after a potentially lethal bug was found in the water supply.

The potentially lethal bug can cause a form of pneumonia called Legionnaires.

General view of the Leicester General Hospital Credit: PA

The hospital says that routine testing of the water supply has shown that higher than normal levels of the bacteria were present on wards 28 and 29, triggering its safety plan.

The legionella bacteria views under a microscope Credit: ITV News Central

Consultant medical microbiologist and deputy director of Infection Prevention and Control at Leicester’s Hospitals, Dr David Jenkins said:

“Low levels of Legionella are not a cause for concern, however high levels can cause a form of pneumonia called Legionnaires disease so we undertake routine testing to ensure the risk is kept low.

“Recent tests on wards 28 and 29 at Leicester General Hospital have triggered our safety plan, meaning showers on these wards will be out of use until further notice and alternative body washing arrangements will be introduced. Bottled drinking water will also be provided for patients and staff but boiled drinks such as tea and coffee remain safe to drink.

“We would like to reassure our patients that the risk of Legionnaires disease for our patients remains low and they are safe. We would like to emphasise that the measures being taken are precautionary and there are no known cases of infection linked to this incident.”

More information on Legionnaires' disease can be found on the Health Protection Agency website and NHS Online.