Macau’s Health Bureau has confirmed that it found “abnormal levels” of legionella bacteria in 10 out of 78 water samples collected in April at casino resort the Parisian Macao (pictured). The 10 samples showed levels above the detection limit of 10 colony-forming units per millilitre (CFU/ml), said the bureau in a statement on Saturday.
The property, developed and operated by Sands China Ltd, had been linked by the Health Bureau to three confirmed cases of Legionnaire’s disease.
In Saturday’s statement, the bureau said it had also found anomalies in the operation of the chlorination system, as well as insufficient residual chlorine in the water system. The hotel management was required immediately to rectify the operational procedures and clean all the parts placed in water outlets, stated the bureau. No legionella bacteria were found in swimming pools, spa and fountains at Parisian Macao, it added.
In a written reply to GGRAsia, Sands China noted that the majority of the test results from the samples collected by the Health Bureau was “within the acceptable range, according to U.S. standards”.
Regarding the 10 samples with levels of legionella bacteria higher than recommended, Sands China said it has followed “internationally accepted sanitisation standards”. The company added: “In addition, an even more stringent set of hygiene policies and procedures has been implemented, to meet or exceed water quality standards.”
The city’s Health Bureau had said in April that three Hong Kong men that had stayed at the Parisian Macao were later diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease. The bureau stated that – according to information provided by the authorities in Hong Kong and according to the Parisian Macao’s hotel records – two of the men had stayed overnight at the casino resort in January and March, respectively. The third person had stayed overnight at the property in December 2016.
Legionnaire’s disease is a serious lung infection caused by legionella bacteria, commonly found in water tanks, cooling towers, spas and water fountains.
Following the April inspection, operations at the Parisian Macao’s swimming pool area were suspended, so that the area could be cleaned and disinfected. The bureau also ordered deep cleaning of all jacuzzis and of the property’s pipe system, as well as the adoption of other precautionary measures.
“At present, the hotel has already implemented all the required measures,” said the Health Bureau in Saturday’s statement. The authorities have also conducted a second inspection to fountains, jacuzzis and swimming pools at the Parisian Macao, collecting new water samples. The bureau said it is awaiting the results of the new analyses.
The casino operator said in its Monday statement: “Sands China has and will continue to fully cooperate with the Health Bureau in order to ensure the safety of its guests and team members, and will be working closely with the bureau to confirm compliance with all bureau-provided guidelines and water quality standards.”
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