Legionellosis in Lithuania (Kaunas area)
04 May 2023
Media report an outbreak of legionellosis (Legionnaire’s disease) in the Kaunas area. The National Public Health Center (NVSC) says 12 people are being treated in hospitals, as of 2 May 2023.
Legionnaires' disease is an infection caused by bacteria. It is spread by breathing in bacteria which is found in water spray or tiny water droplets in the air. Outbreaks have been linked to heating or cooling systems, hot tubs, fountains and swimming pools.
The risk from the infection is greatest to smokers, older people, those with a chronic lung condition and those with a weakened immune system. There is no vaccine against Legionnaires' disease.
Advice to travellers
It is helpful to know how the infection is caught, the symptoms of infection and how you can protect yourself if you are travelling to Kaunas, where there is a current outbreak:
- Make sure you flush through showers with hot water in your accommodation if they have not been used recently and before you use them for the first time.
- Seek medical advice quickly if you develop a flu-like illness with a high temperature (fever), cough or shortness of breath during your stay or for up to two weeks after return home. You should inform any healthcare professionals that you may have been exposed to Legionnaires' disease and mention the area you visited.
For further information, see the Legionnaires' Disease page.