01 May Deadly Legionnaire’s disease found in showers at barracks of Queen’s Buckingham Palace guards
Deadly Legionnaire’s disease has been found at the Windsor barracks of the Coldstream Guards.
The historic regiment, one of seven which guard the Queen at Buckingham Palace, were ordered not to use the showers after the bug was detected in a boiler.
The legionella bug was found during a routine inspection at the Victoria Barracks two weeks ago.
It is believed about 60 showers were out of action, affecting up to 300 soldiers .
A source said: “A lot of us were scared we might have been exposed – posters went up warning us not to use the facilities after they found it.
“They locked down some of the showers so loads of us had to to go elsewhere to use the ablutions.
“They’ve reassured us everything is being sorted now, but it was pretty hairy to hear that we might have been inhaling this stuff.”
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by legionella bacteria infecting the lungs. It is usually caught by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water. If not treated with antibiotics quickly enough the disease can lead to death.
Last night the Ministry of Defence confirmed the outbreak, and said it was under control. A spokesman added: “Only one block of showers is closed and nearby alternatives are available while we fix the problem.”