Health agency needs to protect us

WHEN it comes to protecting us from the threat of potentially dangerous diseases, the Health Protection Agency has a vital role to play in tracking down the source of infections and eradicating them at source.

WHEN it comes to protecting us from the threat of potentially dangerous diseases, the Health Protection Agency has a vital role to play in tracking down the source of infections and eradicating them at source.

But before it can do that, it has to have all the information it needs - and to get that information it needs to ask the right questions.

It seems incredible that the agency did not know that Brian Tricker was still working at the age of 66, apparently because they assumed he was retired.

As a result there has been no investigation of his workplace following his death from Legionnaire's Disease - a condition that is known to be spread by air conditioning and water-based ventilation units.


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The importance of taking robust action against the legionella bug which causes the disease was shown up last year when Ipswich council acted fast and decisively when evidence of it was found at the Gainsborough Sports Centre.

It is worrying that the HPA did not find out about Mr Tricker's work the first time they contacted his widow - and even more worrying that they did not follow up their original call.

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Thankfully after the inquest and The Evening Star's coverage of his death yesterday, the HPA is now looking into the source of the disease.

But in the meantime his former colleagues and workers at the other companies on the Whitehouse Industrial Estate will be wondering if there could be any link with premises in that part of town .

Swift action now needs to be taken to reassure everyone working in that part of the town that everything is safe.

WHAT a wonderful effort from the villagers of Coddenham to raise hundreds of pounds to support our Christmas appeal to train guide dog Star.

The puppy clearly had a wonderful time joining them in all the fun - getting her first taste of traditional winter weather as she discovered the delights of snow.

Our appeal has clearly caught the imagination of readers across Suffolk - but then that was always inevitable.

What could possibly be more appealing than Star's happy face?

WOOLWORTHS is a store chain that has been in decline for some time, but there will be a feeling of sadness today in homes around the country at the news that the company has gone into administration.

Everyone has shopped in Woolworths at some time - even though the nature of the stores has changed over the years.

When the current Woolworths opened in Ipswich in 1968, it sold everything that ordinary people could want - food, and clothes on the ground floor; toys, and household goods in the basement.

Over the years it has contracted and become a victim of a changing high street - but there will be few who see its passing without feeling a pang of sorrow.

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