Legionella Virus

Discussion in 'Motorhome Insurance General Discussion' started by Howardg, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. Howardg

    Howardg

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    Good Morning Funster's
    Just thought I would post a recent event I had whilst away in France, after 4 weeks away in the south west of France and on our way north to catch the ferry in St Malo to Guernsey. I had flue like symptom's at a campsite in the Marais Poitvin, which I thought was man flu Lol however after leaving the campsite and driving up to the Vendee I gradually felt worse and I eventually collapsed fortunately we had parked up at a new campsite and my wife had to call the emergency services and a ambulance took me 20 kms to the nearest hospital (Payment up front)and I was put in intensive care for 4 days the hospital had no idea what I was suffering from but after two days of tests they diagnosed Legionella virus and took action from information supplied by the French authorities for tropical medicine, at this stage I was completely out of the game and hallucinating which caused my wife some concerns.
    My wife phoned the UK to our insurers who state in there policy that one phone call would action a team of multi lingual doctors and nurses to liase with the hospital and also take control of guiding my wife through all the procedures, We are still awaiting that contact and so are the Hospital authorities. As the motor home was some 40 kms round trip from the hospital my wife took taxis for the four days costing in excess of £400.00
    To eventually finding accommodation in Les Sable de Ollone next door to the hospital again paid up front, after frequent calls to the insurers both from my wife and daughter in Guernsey we still could not get any assistance even the hospital tried, and I signed a pro forma for them to release any medical information regarding treatment etc.
    After 12 days in hospital I was given permission to be repatriated with conditions, which again no assistance was given My wife and daughter/son in law arranged all passages and my son in law drove the Motor home and I was a passenger in my daughters car still far from well, we have been home 4 weeks now and still awaiting some redress from the insurance company after spending over £8000.00 pounds. No names have been mentioned as this is ongoing. So one word of advice to fellow travellers ensure that the company you entrust with your business are fit for purpose, and ensure that you document every event including dates and times and ensure that your partner has full knowledge of the policy and contact numbers and where to find them including a mobile phone.
    Happy Touring
    Howard
     
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  2. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

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    Glad to hear you are safely home despite the efforts of the insurance company. Nothing new unfortunately about the "take your money and run" tactics of the insurance industry - I just hope you manage to get it resolved.
     
  3. fastpat

    fastpat Read Only Funster

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    So which insurance company so we can all avoid.
     
  4. zulurita

    zulurita Funster

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    Hope you are fully recovered now Howard. That is terrible regarding the insurance company. I do hope you get some money back. Will be interested which company it was when all is sorted.

    Likewise two years ago my friend had to have some treatment for a Retinal Tear. Luckily I managed to drive to Roanne and the hospital was a short walk away. The Emergency dept were great and all treatment was as an outpatient. Even though she had the EHIC card she still had to pay up front.
    I also phoned the insurance company Aviva travel insurance through Comfort and although they were supposed to contact the hospital and send a form for us to sign giving permission for them to have all information, the form never arrived! via email or slow mail.! We checked every day over 3 days.
    Apart from a phone call and an email it was left to us to sort out. So I had to sort it all out when we arrived home. We did get some money back but I dread to think what would happen in a much more serious emergency. Not impressed with insurance companies, after all we take travel insurance out for peace of mind in case of emergencies and when this does happen we expect some help. It can be rather frightening being in a foreign country when an emergency happens.
     
  5. Granjan

    Granjan Funster

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    How awful for you all, :( really hope you are feeling much better now. Wonder how many of us have duff policies and if you caught the virus in the campsite showers. The insurance co needs sueing for its failures. Maybe this will be the next thing after PPI, failure to provide cover promised.
     
  6. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    Gosh Howard how frightening for you all!
    So glad you're feeling better, but what a unnecessary effort to have to chase the insurers after all of that trauma, I agree with @Granjan , I'd talk to Citizens Advice or a legal eagle about redress for all the extra time and effort your family's had to put in because the insurers didn't do their job.

     
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  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Salutary lesson for all of us.

    But a belated welcome to Fun, as I see you have been a member for 18 months - may your future posts be happier ones. :)
     
  8. Hollyberry

    Hollyberry Funster

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    Very scary. Legionella is not to be messed with. As you know, it's most likely you caught it from a shower. Unfortunately, even a Legionella-free certificate only proves there was no Legionella present in the hour the water sample was tested. It can grow at any time.
    I think the Insurance Ombudsman should intervene. http://financial-ombudsman.org.uk/contact/index.html
    Contact details in link.
    Hope you are well on the road to a full recovery.
     
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  9. Howardg

    Howardg

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    Thanks for your replies, The French environmental Authorities took a list of all campsites I stayed at all ACSI ones, within the incubation period of three to nineteen days, even asking my wife which showers I used as if she would know they also gave the Motor home a thorough going over but that was fine as I am a bit anal with regard to treatment of the water tanks and all water is boiled for cooking and bottled water for general consumption (prefer red wine myself). Well we will see whether any reports are forthcoming just in case anyone else contracted the virus.
    I will post information as and when this business is done and dusted, One tip if you are travelling early season make sure to flush the shower heads without breathing in any aerosol, not sure what regulations are in existence in France unlike the L8 Regulations in UK.
     
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  10. Neilfg

    Neilfg Funster

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    Hi, must have been really scary and glad your OK. Hope you manage some sort of redress, I'm never sure what a satisfactory outcome is when you have been through something like that, but good luck.(y)

    I can sort of understand you not wanting to name the insurer until you have it resolved, I know I would feel the same way although I'm not at all clear why thinking about it. But I was interested whether the policy was a specific travel insurance policy or something else (an addon type)?
     
  11. ROB1CHELSEA1

    ROB1CHELSEA1 Funster

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    A little late now i know but my eldest daughter is living in Les Sable de Ollone, if your wife could of posted on here we may have been able to of saved you some time and money.

    Rob
     
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  12. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    It seems like the insurance company have not honoured their part of the bargain when you took out your travel insurance. This is known as "breach of contract" and you can sue them in the county court to get your money back. Make sure that you and your wife have made a detailed written record of notes, dates and times of everything that happened, what they failed to do, how many times they failed and every last cent that you spent and on what and keep all receipts. In addition to your refund of costs you should seek further damages for the pain, hurt and suffering caused by their actions!

    In due course I am sure that we would all like to vote with our feet and avoid this company like the bunch of sharks that they are!

    Pleased to hear that you are home and safe after a very frightening and unpleasant experience which must have been terrifying for your wife.
     
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  13. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    We have to conduct water temperature tests in my workplace to reduce the Legionella risk - middle-aged men are especially susceptible. The current guideline for us is that water standing at over 25C for any length of time is not good news, and any form of spray coming off it could transmit the bug. It's easy to see why campsite showers in southern climes are a key suspect.

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal Howardg and good to know the health outcome was the right one even if others have let you down - I hope it all resolves itself soon.
     
  14. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I must admit this isn't a disease I had thought I was at risk of catching from campsite showers but a bit of reading suggests there is a risk, but it is low. The rate in France for the disease is about 2 cases per 100,000 of the population and a total of around 1500 cases a year. Of course as the OP reports this is a serious disease and can be fatal, especially it seems for those with pre-existing medical conditions and/or over 70. There is an increased risk for catching it in those who smoke and are diabetic.

    The water in the shower needs to be contaminated with something for the bugs to feed on but this need only be limescale, which is pretty common.

    So I suppose you have to make your own decisions over what to do about this. You could try running the shower while standing outside the cubical and choosing a shower in the morning which has already been used by someone else? I try to find a dry one myself but perhaps I shouldnt! Of course you could use the shower in the MH but who is to say that is any safer?
     
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  15. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    It is not the shower head that carries the bug. It breeds in the storage tanks, so all shower heads used or not could carry the bug. If it is present, any water tap that produces an aerosol effect could spread it if it is breathed in. We avoid site facilities/showers and use the ones in our Motorhome.
     
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  16. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

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    I always use the facilities in our RV as I find it easier and more convenient but Allan often uses the site ones! This will change his mind.

    This is our first RV/motorhome, etc from caravaning for years so pardon my ignorance but what is the best way to clean the water tanks to prevent anything like this happening? The caravan was easy because of the aquaroll.
     
  17. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I am a private landlord and have just been made aware of a new law, (yet another) to 'protect' tenants, we must have a survey done, ensure all water tanks are sealed and recommend to tenants that they change shower heads annually, as part of a risk assessment that needs to be written by an 'expert'

    I do not mind looking after my tenants, but a bit like a landlords gas safety certificate, if it is critical to health why is not law on all properties, off topic sorry

    The report suggests shower heads should be changed, (but not must be) no doubt a grey area, we haven't changed a shower head for years at home or in MH, other than one that got frost damaged a few years ago

    Maybe given the risk to middle aged and older, it is something MH members should be taking account of in our MH's
     
  18. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Just make sure you drain your fresh water tank after trips and ideally drain the pipes by opening the taps.

    Shower heads and hoses can be a risk and should be descaled regularly apparently. I guess the conditions in the head, especially a dirty one, provide a good breeding ground for the bugs, which are found naturally in the environment, usually in water.
     
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  19. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    ..apart from issues re frost ..why drain a tank between trips? Isn't that a bit extreme. And re showers.. I've had heads that scale up and a soak in white vinegear sorts that and I'd imagine anything else that may be there.

    Terrible experience for the op ... hope it gets sorted
     
  20. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    We always drain the tank if it isn't going to be used for a couple of weeks. An experiment which would be worth doing would be to fill a sterilised bottle from your cold tap after a trip then leave it somewhere warm for a few weeks. My guess is there could be things moving in there by then!
    And cleaning the shower head is a good idea. I think because it is exposed to the air algae can also grow and this is good food for the bugs, which can also exist on limescale apparently.

    But as I said above the disease is rare but particularly if you are someone who is in a vulnerable group (age, illness, smoker) then being sensible about precautions would not be wasted effort.
     
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