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Legionella bacteria found in penthouse hot tub at Lapland resort

Health officials expect to lift a ban on water use at two hotel buildings in Levi after chlorine treatment on Thursday.

Elektronimikroskooppilla otettu 8000-kertainen suurennus Legionella Pneumophila -bakteerista.
Legionella pneumophila bacteria, enlarged 8000 times with an electron microscope. Image: Public Health Image Library / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' disease have been found in the water of two hotel buildings at the Levi ski resort in Kittilä, Finnish Lapland.

There is a ban on using the water at the two buildings, which house Break Sokos hotel rooms and the Hullu Poro Penthouse, a 10-person rooftop apartment.

Legionella bacteria were found in the Jacuzzi of the penthouse after seven people fell ill on March 28.

The news was announced on Thursday afternoon by the Tunturi-Lappi (Fell Lapland) environmental health office, but there was no mention of it on the Levi, Sokos Hotels or Hullu Poro websites.

Smaller amounts of bacteria were also found in the buildings' tap water. Health officials say that the problem only affects these two buildings, known as H2 and H3, and not the rest of the Levi water system.

On Thursday the properties' water systems will be chlorinated, after which the water ban will be lifted.

Legionella can cause infections or pneumonia if contracted through airborne transmission. Incubation can take up to two weeks.

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