Probe promised into Legionnaires' death

A HEALTH authority has today finally promised to probe the circumstances which led to an Ipswich man contracting a lethal strain of Legionnaires' disease.

A HEALTH authority has today finally promised to probe the circumstances which led to an Ipswich man contracting a lethal strain of Legionnaires' disease.

Brian Tricker, 66, died at Ipswich hospital on October 27, eight-and-a-half weeks after suddenly falling ill.

His shattered widow, Astrid, blasted the Health Protection Agency (HPA), claiming the independent body had failed to properly investigate the tragedy.

Today, HPA bosses confirmed enquiries into Mr Tricker's death were being made as to where he could have contracted the disease.


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However, The Evening Star has learned that until yesterday, the HPA was not even aware that Mr Tricker had been working as a security guard before his death, incorrectly believing he had retired a year ago.

Dr Pat Nair, of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Health Protection Unit said: “Any case of Legionnaires' disease is treated very seriously.

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“When a case is reported a full clinical assessment and thorough inquiry is made into the risks factors involved.

“A large proportion of cases are apparently sporadic, which means there are no links to other cases.

“Our local team of doctors and nurses work closely with partner organisations to investigate possible sources of infection and take control measures where necessary to help prevent further cases.

“This investigation is ongoing and although no potential source has been identified as yet, we are looking to take samples for laboratory testing.”

Dr Nair said HPA figures revealed there have been five cases of the disease in Suffolk in 2008 and there was no evidence to link any to a common source of exposure.

An inquest into Mr Tricker's death, held at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.

Mrs Tricker, of Nelson Road, Ipswich, today admitted she was disappointed at the coroner's outcome.

She said: “Brian was a fit and healthy man, so how could he have died from natural causes?”

Would you like to send a message of support to the Tricker family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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