Page last updated at 19:13 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Legionella at Northampton Racecourse changing room

The bacteria responsible for Legionnaires' disease has been found in changing rooms at Northampton Racecourse, it has been revealed.

The changing room was closed on the afternoon of Wednesday 27 January, after routine sampling found the presence of Legionella bacteria.

Northampton Borough Council took action to thoroughly disinfect the water supply and showers in the room.

This meant that it could be used by footballers last Saturday.

The council has asked a specialist firm to look at the premises to see if there are any steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.

The changing room will remain closed this week for work to take place but the council said it was hoped that it could be reopened shortly.

'Routine checks'

Legionella bacteria is naturally occurring in water, such as rivers and ponds, but can also be found in artificial water systems.

Steve Elsey, head of public protection for Northampton Borough Council, said it carried out regular routine checks for the bacteria.

"The bacteria presents a very low risk of anyone becoming ill but we are committed to ensuring that our facilities are as safe as possible for the public," he said.

"We have gone over and above the actions we needed to take so that people can use the changing room with confidence."

The council said anyone who had used the changing room recently and was suffering pneumonia-like symptoms should contact their doctor.

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