Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

Legionella inquiry starts in Lincoln Prison shower room

Part of a shower room at Lincoln Prison has been cordoned off after a patch of what could be the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires' disease was found.

The discovery was made during a routine check of a communal shower room. Samples have now been sent for testing.

The Prison Service said no-one had contracted the disease and day-to-day operations at the jail are not affected.

Alternative shower facilities are being used while tests are carried out.

'Immediately isolated'

A Prison Service spokesperson said: "Following a routine hygiene inspection in a communal shower area at HMP Lincoln, prison staff identified a small patch of what could possibly be the bacterium Legionella pneumophila although this has not yet been confirmed.

"As a precaution the area was immediately isolated from prisoners and staff and samples sent for testing.

"The prison is awaiting the results of the tests but in the meantime alternative shower facilities are being used for inmates and the possible infected area has been flushed and chlorinated."

Legionnaire's disease, is a rare form of pneumonia and is usually spread by inhalation of water droplets containing the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. It does not spread from person-to-person.

The disease can be found naturally in environmental water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

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