How to avoid the deadly legionnaire’s bug that can cause life-threatening pneumonia which lurks in stagnant water in your hotel’s shower

Popular holiday resorts could be putting Britons at risk of a serious bacterial infection that can lead to life-threatening pneumonia, a series of new studies have revealed.

Scientists have found that up to two-thirds of hotels in destinations including Greece, the Canary Islands and Morocco risk spreading the infection – called legionella, or legionnaires’ disease – which lurks in stagnant water.

Now, microbiologists are urging holidaymakers to run taps and showers before having contact with the water, due to fears that bugs have accumulated while premises were shut during the Covid lockdowns.

It comes months after 70-year-old Lynn Stigwood from Buckinghamshire was reported to have died after contracting the infection while on holiday in the Dominican Republic.

After falling violently ill with vomiting and diarrhoea in September 2019, she was taken to hospital where she developed pneumonia and struggled to breathe and walk.

She developed organ failure and died. Lynn’s husband Melvyn, 73, arrived home to a letter from the travel company that arranged the trip, warning about contaminated water at their hotel. Several guests, the letter explained, had contracted legionnaires’ disease. Lynn had used the shower before becoming unwell.