Warning issued to Irish holidaymakers following outbreak of NASTY infection

16th Jul 18 | News

Irish people are being warned to look out for the signs!

Health officials have issued a warning to Irish tourists travelling to the Canary Islands this summer to be extra vigilant, amid an outbreak of a bacterial bug which can cause meningitis, blood poisoning and pneumonia.

Thirteen tourists have fallen sick with the nasty bacteria and were admitted to hospital in Gran Canaria. 

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, (ECDC) said the risk for individual travellers to pick up the bug does remain “very low”. However, the risk is higher if a holidaymaker ends up in hospital, or at a medical centre.

Tourists are reminded that the bacteria can spread through direct contact or dirty hands touching a wound. Officials have said:

"If carriers of the bacteria are admitted to a hospital in their country of origin, there is a high risk for further transmission and outbreaks if carriage is not detected and if adequate prevention and control measures are not in place.

Whole genome sequencing analysis indicates a common place of acquisition for the cases.

Given the large number of tourists visiting Gran Canaria, one hospital may become the source of spread to other European countries when patients are transferred from one country to another, making this cluster a cross-border threat.

All patients who are directly transferred or were hospitalised in a foreign country 12 months prior to hospital admission may be considered for screening."

The symptoms to watch out for include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • chest pain
  • trouble breathing
  • thick, or bloody mucus