View Full Version : Onsen contaminated by Legionnaires bacteria

Aug 23, 2002, 21:09
Not Safe in the Water

An outbreak of Legionnaires disease that has killed six and infected up to 272 others is putting Japanese people off their public baths. All those infected had recently bathed at the newly opened Sun Park hot springs in Hyuga, Miyazaki prefecture, and local health authorities are fielding panicked calls from other bathers worried they may also be infected. Some 20,000 people bathed in the hot springs in its first two weeks of operation before the link was made. The focus is now on how such operations are run after it was found that the water in the hot springs was infected with 150,000 times more Legionnaires bacteria than permitted by the Health Ministry. Further revelations from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) have regular bathers worried. Tests carried out on 237 hot springs found that 64 percent contained amoebae, which can serve as hosts for dangerous bacteria. There are fears that cleaning standards for(hot springs) as set out by the Health Ministry are not being properly observed - and for some at least, it may be a while before they feel it's safe to get back in the water.

Source : Lonely Planet (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/scoop/archive.cfm?DPID=437&region=asi)

Aug 23, 2002, 22:47
ewwwww, thank goodness afterall that I haven't been able to go.

I've known that tiny turds float around in the water and what not.

Most onsen are not real these days. Meaning that they aren't piped straight from the ground but rather re-circulated baths. Of course, some are real but it seems that 60%+ are the recirculating type.